Man who urinated on Komagata Maru memorial has mental illness: police

VANCOUVER - Vancouver police say they did not charge a man who urinated on the Komagata Maru memorial because he has a serious mental illness and drug addiction.

Police Chief Jim Chu told a media conference that the man has signed a note, apologizing for what he did and saying he hadn't meant to hurt anyone.

Chu says the man needs the health care system, not the justice system, and added he doesn't believe it is in anyone's interest to charge the man.

The police department announced on Tuesday that it wasn't pressing charges against a suspect who was photographed urinating on the monument in December, saying that while his actions were disrespectful, a bylaw ticket wasn't appropriate.

The memorial commemorates a dark chapter in Canadian history, when immigration officials refused to let hundreds of Sikhs off a charter ship that arrived in Vancouver in May 1914.

When the ship returned to India, a riot broke out and 19 people were killed by police

Sohan Deol, president of the Khalsa Diwan Society, says the local Sikh community accepts the man's apology and they support the police decision.

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