White supremacists arrested over Edmonton racial attack

Edmonton Sun, Canada/April 17, 2012

Two members and one associate of a white supremacist group have been arrested after a brutal racially-motivated attack in Mill Woods, says the city police hate crimes unit.

Two members of the group, Blood and Honour, and two associates, approached a man inside the Liquor Depot around 11:30 p.m. on March 24, making derogatory comments and racial slurs.

The altercation ended but started again outside the store. That's when things turned ugly.

Const. Alex Thomas of the city police hate crimes unit says the victim received bite marks to his hand, and was stabbed in the shoulder with a piece of broken glass after a bottle was smashed over his head.

It was one of the most severe attacks Thomas has seen.

"It's nothing that he could have changed. He couldn't have said anything different, he was just being himself," said Thomas, noting the man was there with two other friends, one of whom was also assaulted, but his injuries weren't as severe.

The victims are both men in their 20s.

"It was a traumatic event for everybody in the sense they were also dumbfounded as to how did this guy bring this upon himself. He really didn't."

Charged in connection with the attack are Kyle McKee, 26, of Calgary, Bernard Miller, 20, and Philip Badrock, 44, of St. Albert. Both Miller and Badrock are charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Police said all three are confirmed to be involved with the white supremacist group Blood and Honour.

Following the arrests, a hate crimes investigator was sent to Calgary to execute search warrants at McKee's residence. The search resulted in the seizure of numerous weapons, including shotguns, rifles, ammunition, knives and machetes.

McKee is charged with 15 weapons-related offences in addition to two assault-related charges.

The attack occurred on the heels of a White Pride Rally held in Edmonton on the same day. Just after noon, between 15 and 20 balaclava-wearing demonstrators belonging to the international white supremacist group began marching along Jasper Avenue waving a huge white flag that read "White Pride Worldwide."

It didn't take long before they clashed with anti-racism protesters with some brief shoving and shouting before police stepped in. Seeing they were outnumbered, the group worked with police in that they were willing to be escorted from place to place for their own safety, said Thomas.

Const. Patrick Ruzage was among the group of officers keeping an eye on the protesters and interacting with the group that day. Although the protest was peaceful, there was no way of knowing what would transpire later.

"Based on previous dealings with this group, we knew there was potential for violence," said Ruzage. "It's very concerning."

This isn't the first time city police have had to deal with members of Blood and Honour.

And McKee, the leader of the group that has ties to both Edmonton and Calgary, is no stranger to police.

In 2010, a Crown prosecutor withdrew charges against McKee that included attempted murder, possessing, making or controlling explosives and possession of a weapon or imitation for a dangerous purpose. McKee was arrested in Winnipeg nearly a month after two explosive devices were left outside a northeast apartment in Calgary, occupied by his ex-girlfriend and her new beau. Nobody was injured in the Nov. 21 incident.

The Crown determined there was not enough evidence to prove a reasonable likelihood of conviction.

In March 2011, McKee pleaded guilty to uttering threats and possession of a weapon over a confrontation with an anti-racism activist. The judge threw him in the slammer for a month.

Thomas said McKee has been known to express his opinion with the use of violence. Police are keeping a close eye on the group's activities since part of the recruitment process includes showing violence against minorities.

"We find the violence involved in hate crime is significantly more than just a regular assault. Often times there is more than one person that's involved in the group that's targeting an individual," said Thomas. "These guys are cowards. It's nothing the complainant or victim has done. It's basically attacking the person for who they are. In this case, he was a brown male who was in the liquor store at the same time they were."

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