CJNews.com By CJN Staff Thurs., April 25, 2019
Winnipeggers expressed shock and outrage after the Jewish-owned BerMax Caffé & Bistro (pic above)was allegedly broken into, robbed and vandalized, and a female employee was purportedly assaulted on April 18. But in a shocking turn of events on April 24, Winnipeg police announced that the store’s owners had been charged with public mischief for allegedly staging the attack.
BerMax employees reported the initial incident as a robbery and police said they found the place trashed and that one woman had been sent to hospital. At the time, Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Rob Carver said police were “investigating this as a hate crime,” because anti-Semitic graffiti had been left behind, and the café had been the subject of previous anti-Semitic vandalism.
But on April 24, the store’s three owners were charged, including the one who had been sent to the hospital.
“Investigators believe that the initial report of a robbery was staged. Further, the anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism were also falsely reported as being done by outside suspects,” the Winnipeg Police Service wrote on Facebook.
Police Chief Danny Smyth said he was “hugely disappointed and, frankly, angry that this family has used hate and racism in such a disingenuous way.…
“In doing so, they have allowed cynicism to creep into this discussion. Cynicism that trivializes genuine victims of hate. Cynicism that risks reinforcing stereotypes that the Jewish community here locally, and throughout the world, have fought hard to dispel.”
“Filing false complaints of criminal acts of anti-Semitism are not only illegal, they undermine the important work necessary to counter anti-Semitism and hate in all forms.”