Crown drops charges against 4 accused in Indigo bookstore vandalism

The Crown has dropped charges against four of the 11 people charged with hate-motivated crimes after an Indigo bookstore was vandalized last fall.

In a statement, Toronto Police Service spokesperson Stephanie Sayer confirmed the Crown had dropped the charges, citing no “reasonable prospect of conviction.”

Seven other people are still being prosecuted in connection with the Nov. 10, 2023, vandalism of the Indigo bookstore at Bay and Bloor streets, which included a number of posters accusing CEO Heather Reisman, who is Jewish, of funding genocide, while red paint was also splashed across a glass door.

At the time, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies called it “a vile antisemitic attack,” while dozens of protesters gathered outside 52 Division to protest the charges, saying Reisman had been targeted for her political activity, not the fact that she is Jewish.

“This is a complex prosecution involving 30 charges and 11 accused persons,” the Crown said in a statement shared via Toronto police.

“It has taken time, analysis, and careful consideration to properly assess the Reasonable Prospect of Conviction and Public Interest against each of the 11 accused persons individually,” the Crown said.

“This decision should not be seen as a criticism of the police determination that there were reasonable grounds for the arrests of these four individuals.

“Our office remains committed to ensuring these allegations receive the resources and attention deserving of these alleged offenses that have had a widespread impact on our community, and the specific complainant in this matter.”

In his statement, Sayer said, “The Toronto Police Service will persist in enforcing hate crime laws and laying charges when justified, ensuring the safety and security of our communities.”

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