Guilty verdict in truck attack case doesn’t ease fear: London, Ont., resident



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Let’s begin with that verdict in the murder trial of Nathaniel belman guilty on four counts of first-degree murder and guilty on one count of attempted murder veltman was accused of killing four members of a family that was Muslim and injuring a fifth after hitting them with his pickup truck in London Ontario

In 2021 cbc’s Chris ening is joining us now from the courthouse in Windsor Chris you’ve been our guide through all of this tell us again about today’s verdict uh today’s verdict uh the president setting something that the legal Community was watching closely but at a greater extent and really struck

Home by what we’ve been hearing the last hour uh is the emotional and the humanity attached to this this attack and the Ripple effects that it’s caused uh Nathaniel veltman found guilty of four counts of first to REM murder a fifth count of attempted murder he will

Serve life with no chance of parole for the first 25 years uh we know that those cases cannot stack on top of each other uh we’ve heard that he is in shock as he absorbs this information through his a de fense lawyer uh who has said that

They are considering and looking at all options after this uh but will need to speak with their client before deciding what to do next uh we know that in the courtroom when the jury came to this decision after about 7 hours of deliberations and said that they had

Found him guilty uh we have heard that there were gasps tears inside of there as that verdict was read feltman dressed in all black uh he has been found guilty of first-degree murder of attempted murder because of what he did on that night in London on the 2021 two years

Ago when a family was out for a walk the upol family uh three generations from a young team uh to an elder uh who died in that attack they were out for a walk that night uh Pakistani Muslim members of the London Community uh the adults well educated and healthc Care

Professions at the University ties as well with University of Western Ontario and throughout this trial uh we’ve heard about if uh the accused had had uh the ability uh to build up a plan to act on that plan and if this was Terror uh the crown prosecutor was Prosecuting this

Along the terrorism lines because of the way the jury system works here in Canada we we will not know how the jury has come to that decision and we’ll likely hear more through the sentencing process of how that affects what happens next but we can say that the prosecution

Looked at this as a man who was motivated by seet wrting a brutal message against Muslims and one of inspiration to White nationalists telling Muslims that they’re not welcome here and white nationalists that they should uh mimic this attack writing a Manifesto as well and what we heard in

The last hour there Natasha was really just a rebuke of of everything that the evidence showed inside of this about the ideas of uh the Muslim Community in London and Windsor are coming together during all this I want to read some of the things that we heard um the family

Really tying together all of this to bring us back to the street where this all occurred saying that in that moment the very best and the very worst of humanity met talking about the Diabolical hellbent criminal who met tearful First Responders uh who were on that scene they were people that were

Thanked by the family and their statements after for their reaction so quickly after what had occurred they say that they found some solace in this uh verdict and that there is going to be a an ability to move forward together but we’ve also heard that there is no

Verdict that can bring this family back and that what is required now Natasha because of the evidence because of what we heard about this isolated individual who was radicalized by what he saw on the internet uh that there needs to be work done uh to show that the next

Radical person is not out there uh we heard from an Imam from London who said that he could finally exhale and he also spoke I believe we have this clip about what this means now uh for members of the Muslim Community who are visibly identifiable and what the justice system

Has found in this uh he had said that they believe that now what has occurred with this verdict is is an an explanation that the justice system will stand up for what is right that is what we’re hearing from the Imam who says that this verdict is a Monumental step

Against hate and islamophobia here in Canada Chris let me ask you about something else which is the additional information you were able to report the additional details that were released only after the jury went into deliberations and so subsequently the jury didn’t hear this information themselves what can you tell us about

That uh yes because of the way the legal system works here in Canada the jury uh is presented of facts that are argue between the defense and the prosecutors and that the Justice rules over to make sure that there’s a clear uh uh description of what has occurred and the

Evidence that’s allowed inside of that some of that evidence uh might be Pro judicial it might not be allowed to be seen before the jury um but it’s still spoken about in court while the jury’s not there reporters for CBC have been been in this courtroom throughout the

Full 10 length uh 10 we length of this trial and so now we can report those because the jury was sequestered and has made its finding and within that we can report that veltman was wearing body armor in a military helmet the day before he killed the Offa family and

Went to Toronto on what he called in a mental health assessment a scouting Mission the jury not hearing that he told police that he first considered targeting abortion providers and that he had a list of 12 healthc care providers inside of his his apartment when police arrived after the arrest the jury also

Did not hear uh that a forensic psychiatrist Dr Julian goer this is a person who testified during the trial but did not say uh that he had a 105 page report where inside of it he stated that the the this this person did not meet the bar for being not criminally

Responsible and also notified that multiple times during this uh meetings that they had he had intended veltman to plead guilty uh inside of this because he wanted his information being released to the press and made his public made public knowledge and that he was upset

About this we know that he then went on to plead not guilty and we also know about the manifesto that was written and that was not spread but was available to uh police officers who responded there was a heavily redacted version of that was read out in court and there was also

A moment here as well that we can now tell you about where the defense in this trial looked at app applying for a mistrial and that’s because of how the crown prosecutors approached their closing arguments that first hour where they told the jury their version of events and why veltman should be found

Guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder within that the Justice saying that there was inflammatory language that did not have place inside of a Canadian courtroom and that they believe that that information which include descriptions of Carnage and that the clothing that the offal family was

Wearing was like a a red cape that that Drew veltman towards them like a Raging Bull uh the Justice had issued a corrective decision statement within that saying that they are not to listen to those uh comments that would be made to elicit motions and that they should

Be making judgments based upon the facts and the evidence that were presented to them in the end Natasha they agreed together as a group that veltman is guilty of first-degree murder four counts and one count of attempted murder cbc’s Chris ensing in Windsor Ontario thank you for more reaction I want to welcome

Muhammad hammud he lives in London Ontario where he is a consultant and Leadership coach uh Mr hammud thank you for coming on the program thank you for having me so we know in the courtroom not long ago it was read out uh guilty of four counts of first-degree murder guilty on one count

Of attempted murder what was your feeling when you heard that bit Sweet Bitter because nothing will bring back the offel family nothing will steal the pain that the community feels in their absence and that there’s a child who’s orphaned bitter that this doesn’t seal make anybody feel more comfortable

That there won’t be another Target where it does give us some Solace is that we feel there will be closure for the community in the sense that Justice was served the community the jurors heard and they made a decision that was in favor of humanity not just for Muslims

Because when one of us is not safe none of us is safe and I think Muslims need to hear that right now more than ever that they’re not a walking Target I think it’s very important that we send that message out to anyone in the community who is thinking about committing a crime

We know islamophobia is on the rise and we need to send that message why do you say that let me dig into that a little bit about sending out a message or why it’s bitter sweet islamophobia my apologies islamophobia is on the rise yeah yeah let’s just dig into that a bit

I sure again you you can see that especially since uh what’s going on in the Middle East right now with events unfolding daily in Gaza we know that Muslims don’t feel comfortable we also know that they’re being very vocal and we see how that how being vocal is being

Received in some parts of the community people don’t understand the history they don’t understand the situation and so it takes a lot of nerve it takes a lot of courage to raise your voice to do that within the bounds of respecting others in the community so to raise your voice

For what you believe is a truth and to make sure that others understand how you feel because what concerns Muslims outside of London outside of our own Community impacts us here at home so nccm the national the National Council conunity Muslims you know it’s it’s telling us daily of what’s going on we

Know that there are heightened senses of islamophobia more people are feeling uncomfortable and at a time when again we’re feeling like a walking Target we don’t want to be reminded that we could be the next Target wow maybe take me back to that night and it’s hard to do it’s almost

Two and a half years now um and what the reaction was from the community then and are you still getting I heard from the family they got a lot of support are you still getting support so I I can speak on of course as a Londoner as a Muslim someone in the

Community um I can tell you that night is crystal clear on my head my family and I were driving back from a family event we were coming back from at beach it was about 7 o’ 7:30 and we turned on the radio and we were shocked right I believe it

Was about that time we were driving back and so here we are a family celebrating being together yet a family in our community our London Community our Muslim Community just lost their lives and of course we didn’t know all the details but the first thing that comes

To your mind is why right and we may have heard much about what was in the mind of the person who committed this crime but I don’t think that answers the question why and so I think in order to get some closure real closure we need to

Make sure that we send out a message that this is not only not acceptable but there grave circumstances if people are thinking of doing this again if there are people who are being uh pulled into this sort of mindset where we don’t like people who don’t look like us who don’t

Believe like us who don’t speak like us and therefore we have the right to get rid of them in whichever way send them back or or do whatever we want you know commit acts of Terror then we need to send out a message that not only is this

Not acceptable but that it would be received with the highest forms of punishment by in law you said in the first answer that uh that you fear there could be another Target like this what will deter and you know that the question why is a good one because I

Don’t know if the answer is there how do you you know yes we all say it’s you can’t do this this is not who Canadians are right but how does it stop the next person well we need to be authentic you know elected officials our leaders uh Community leaders religious

Leaders we all need to be authentic in we’re not just speaking words empty words but we’re actually living them we need to support each other we need to embrace each other not just in times of pain and horror but in times that we can celebrate one another here in the

Community whether in London or in the greater L you know uh Canadian Community because this is what has always brought us together now I used to feel very happy as a Canadian as as a Londoner to say I feel like I belong but I can tell

You I don’t feel like I belong so much Ser certainly not after this attack and certainly not in what’s been going on in the past month because I see all the efforts that we’re putting in place to talk about diversity Equity inclusion and belonging it seems that those initiatives address the needs

And the Comforts and the security and the safety of only certain group of people and I don’t feel that we’re taking a very strong stance by living out our words we need to role model our Behavior we can’t roleplay it and sadly I think right now

The message is clear that some lives are more important than others so on a day when I want to celebrate that justice has been served I wonder when will this happen again because Muslim lives just don’t seem as important as the lives of other londoners and Canadians my heart aches that you say

That as a Londoner and Canadian for 47 years I want to tell my kids a different story but I don’t think I can I I I ask them to watch to listen to to engage in conversations and we’re angry right now certainly and you know but we also want

To open the doors communication because through anger you don’t have conversations that really resonate with your heart they don’t move you to the point where you feel you want to create a community that is diverse live within a community that celebrates your belonging and I just don’t feel that we

As a community are coming together strong enough right now because of the messages that are being sent so I hope on a deal like this that a lot of londers can sit back and think what am I doing today prevent that another family like the Abel family is going to be run

Down because of the way they look because of their language because of their beliefs no family no person should be targeted because of the religious ethnic linguistic cultural beliefs we we should it sounds it sounds a little silly but we do need to celebrate these differences and they are indeed what

Makes us stronger but we can’t just say that we really have to live it and I I’m looking to our leaders right now to really put their uh words into action and role model that behavior and and to see that this crime eventually gets served for what it is which is a crime

Of terrorism we need to send out a message that if you behave in Acts of Terror we will take steps to make sure that you are you know you you reserve your you you you you get Justice for for what you do or or what you plan to do

And I hope it deters people from even thinking about it absolutely well thank you for sharing your thoughts I think they’re important and you for allowing me important discussion to have Muhammad hammud thank you for being on the program thank you thank you for having me

The guilty verdict for Nathaniel Veltman of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for the truck attack that killed four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont., does not take away the fear that another attack may happen in the future, says London resident Mohamed Hammoud.

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  1. This was a deliberate “Hate” crime . He ran this innocent family down and drove away. Premeditation and forethought . He should never get out of prison . This was horrific and the dear little boy who survived this my heart goes out to this boy who lost his parents , sister and grandmother all at once . Rest in Peace to this family. Crimes like this can never go by unproved and must be punishable. No body has right to play God.

  2. A person might not like certain groups of people in Canadian society but noting gives a person the right to commit such a calculated murder in Canada, to just pick 4 people at a spur of a moment is wrong in all circumstances no matter what state of mind the person is in

  3. Been to london ont and well if anyone there thinks muslims are the problem every cracked out person(there were alot) i met was white as can be. Been to most big cities in canada this year and london ont is by far the worst place for visable drug adicts next to walking down skid row in Vancouver but felt safer in Vancouver.

  4. this verdict will gladden the hearts of the vast majority of Canadians.
    it will, unfortunately, have the opposite effect, of hardening whatever passes for a heart,
    in those who have been as deluded and misled by the merchants of hate,
    as the perpetrator of this crime was.

  5. The friend on CBC Radio said she thought this trial was going to end up in his favor from the very began and how shocked she was that there was justice…

    Excuse me, he ran over 5 people. Killed 4 of them. In what world or country ro you think you are living in? This is Canada, these things don't get swept under the rug or pleaded down. 4 DEATHS. Man she really bothered me when she said that. Did you think they were going to day "good job murderer? Here's a house and keys to a brand new Lamborghini? He ran 4 people over. Regardless Muslim or catholic or jehova. He murdered 4 people.

  6. Justice system got it right. Tragically nothing will bring that family back. Hope this verdict scares any would be future attackers into thinking twice

  7. Justice served, we should fight against all forms of discrimination. To muslim brothers I request if you want Islamaphobia to stop in west than Standup for the christians of pakistan, jews of arab world who are persecuted then people will stand with you even more.

  8. I hope we support our brothers and sisters who are Muslims now and in the future. We as Canadians are be the first to make Canada every Muslims or what religion a person believe and truly be their community with love and understanding. Support and love to all whom are effected.❤

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