Alberta white supremacist pleads guilty to 'despicable' night of violence

Edmonton Journal September 18, 2012

By Ryan Cormier

Edmonton - The last of four men who engaged in a drunken, racist spree of harassment and violence on Whyte Avenue in February 2011 has pleaded guilty to his crimes and avoided jail time.

Jason Anthony Anderson, 34, was given a two-year sentence to be served at home and three years of probation after he entered pleas to criminal harassment, causing a disturbance and two counts of assault.

Provincial court Judge Elizabeth Johnson called the crimes "despicable" as she sentenced him.

Crown prosecutor Ashley Finlayson said Anderson and three friends, members of white supremacist group Blood and Honour, spent the evening of Feb. 12, 2011, handing out pamphlets at the Churchill LRT Station before they went to drink at the Strathcona Hotel on Whyte Avenue around 9 p.m.

The group got seriously drunk over the next three hours, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Anderson and his friends then began to loudly sing a racist song from American History X, a fictional film about a white supremacist movement. The men gave Nazi salutes to each other and said "Heil Hitler."

"They harassed anyone in the bar who was a visible minority," Finlayson said. "It got worse as the evening progressed."

Several patrons left the bar, including one "terrified" black woman who was harassed by the group for 10 minutes outside. Eventually, Anderson and his friends were kicked out of the bar and began to roam the Whyte Avenue area.

The group beat up a black man outside a bar on 103rd Street, though Anderson only encouraged that assault and did not directly take part. The group reached another bar, where a victim from the Strathcona Hotel recognized them and told friends about the previous racism.

"A melee ensued," Finlayson said, and police were called. Anderson was identified and later arrested.

The entire evening was motivated by "racial hatred," Finlayson said.

Anderson, a welder born and raised in the Edmonton area, apologized to the court as he was sentenced: "We regret everything that happened and I'm truly ashamed of my behaviour that night."

"I would hope so," Johnson told him.

During the two years he will serve in the community, Anderson must obey a curfew, abstain from alcohol, avoid bars and pubs, stay away from Whyte Avenue and have no association with the Blood and Honour group or any other white supremacist organization. He must also perform 120 hours of community service. vLast year, 19-year-old David Roger Goodman pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal harassment, two counts of assault and causing a disturbance for his role in the group that night. He was sentenced to 15 months in jail and a year of probation.

James Brooks, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal harassment, causing a disturbance, assault and assault with a weapon. He was sentenced to 13 months in jail.

Keith Virgil Decu, a Spanish man, was given a term of probation for his minimal role with the group.

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