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“The investigation is concluded.”
The girl reported Friday that a man attempted twice to cut off her hijab as she walked to school with her younger brother. Police said last week that the alleged attack was being investigated as a possible hate crime.
CBC News is not naming the 11-year-old because she is a minor.
Her story captured national attention, and drew public condemnation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory. In a new statement issued Monday afternoon, Tory said “it is good to know” that no attack actually took place.
“Investigators worked extremely hard since the allegations on Friday. They gathered evidence from a variety of sources,” before concluding the story was untrue, Pugash said, adding that the girl who reported the incident will not face any legal consequences.
Pugash said police don’t know how the story escalated. He stressed it’s “quite rare” for someone to make false allegations of this type, and said he hopes it will not discourage others from coming forward.
“We won’t be commenting further.”
Amira Elghawaby, a human rights advocate based in Ottawa, said she was saddened to learn that the girl’s story was not true, adding it will likely only serve to embolden “those who do hold discriminatory views of Muslims.”
“Hindsight is 20/20 and I’m sure the police, and the school and everyone will be reviewing how this was addressed. And we, as community members, all we want to do is think about this young girl — give her support — we don’t want her to be vilified,” said Elghawaby.