Alleged white supremacists charged with assaulting minorities
Two Vancouver men allegedly involved in the white supremacist group Blood and Honour have been charged in a number of assaults on minorities.
In the most disturbing case, 25-year-old Robertson de Chazal is accused of setting fire to a Filipino man who had fallen asleep on a couch near Commercial Drive and 5th Avenue in Vancouver's east side.
The victim sustained burns to his arms, neck and head. Witnesses reported seeing three men flee the scene, and Det. Const. Terry Wilson of the RCMP Hate Crime Team said police have arrested one other suspect who has yet to be charged.
De Chazal, who is originally from Edmonton, is also accused of beating a black man unconscious in September 2009. He has been charged with aggravated assault and assault causing bodily harm.
Shawn MacDonald has been charged with three counts of assault in connection with separate incidents in 2008 and 2010 in which a black man, a Hispanic man and an aboriginal woman were attacked.
Both De Chazal and MacDonald are believed to be members of Blood and Honour, an international white power group formed in the 1980s. Its name was borrowed from the Hitler Youth motto, "Blut und ehre."
The neo-Nazi group is one of two white supremacist organizations on the RCMP Hate Crime Team's radar. Investigators believe it has about 15 members in the Lower Mainland.
"Membership in this group is not illegal but if the membership of a white supremacist motivates you to commit offences, that's when the hate crime team gets involved," said Wilson.
Other members remain under investigation, police say.
Blood and Honour has a handful of chapters in Canada, including in Ontario and Alberta. Last March in Edmonton, local members were charged with assaulting three people and shouting racial slurs.
The Hate Crime Team says membership in the B.C. chapter has dwindled since its investigation began.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington