'It's happening here': Mother of murder victim says she's received racist messages, death threat

A Kitchener woman says she felt compelled to speak out after she received a racially-motivated death threat online.

Kelly Macnab says it all started after she posted a picture of her son Isaiah on her Facebook page.

Isaiah was fatally shot in downtown Kitchener in 2018.

Macnab says she’s still grieving the loss of her son, and in December, she replaced her Facebook profile picture with an image of Isaiah.

That’s when she began receiving messages from an unknown man.

“It appeared he believed I was Isaiah,” she says.

The first message reads, in part: “You are such a goofy-looking [expletive]. When it’s legal to kill you I’m gonna kill you myself for making friends with a member of my family.”

“Some people spoke to him and let him know he had been messaging a mother of someone who had been murdered,” says Macnab.

However she continued to receive more messages, which she described as graphic and violent.

“Very disgusting messages with lots of racist undertones in them and threatening my life,” Macnab says.

CTV News has seen the messages but has decided not to share them online.

After watching the anti-racism protests that are unfolding in the U.S., Macnab felt she needed to share her experience with friends and family.

“I saw that the conversation was starting to happen here and people were talking about it as though it was sort of a United States problem,” she says. “I wanted to say that it’s happening here and it’s happened to someone that you know.”

According to Waterloo Regional Police, the man allegedly behind these messages is a 31-year-old from Niagara Falls. He’s been charged with uttering threats to cause death.

In a statement, the WRPS also says “The Waterloo Regional Police Service does not tolerate any form of hate crime in our community.”

Macnab hopes that by sharing her negative experience, it will spark peaceful dialogue and lead to positive change.

She says she’s planning on attending the KW Solidarity March for Black Lives Matter on Wednesday.