Police dismissed Trump fan's abuse at Christchurch mosque as 'free speech', witness claims

A man who is said to have yelled abuse outside one of the mosques targeted in the Christchurch terror attack was allegedly allowed to walk away by police.

On Wednesday, a post on the Muslims in Christchurch and Canterbury Facebook page claimed a man had approached the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Ave and yelled at people leaving the masjid.

The foul-mouthed man wore a 'Trump for New Zealand' T-shirt, and was shouting that "all Muslims are terrorists" and needed to leave New Zealand, a witness says.

Adrian Wright told Magic Talk's Ryan Bridge that officers allowed the man to walk away, citing freedom of speech. Wright said the man was kicking pictures of some of the deceased outside the mosque.

"He was screaming 'F Muslims, they all need to get the F out of New Zealand, all Muslims are terrorists'.

"The police officers have told us that we need to report any suspicious activity to them, and that they're taking the proper procedures and the proper protocol."

Police are now trying to locate the man, and have a dedicated team of detectives "working through the night following positive lines of enquiry" to identify him.

They have released images of the suspect in hopes a member of the public recognises him.

Police dismissed Trump fan's abuse at Christchurch mosque as 'free speech', witness claims
Photo credit: NZ Police / Supplied

Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price said two armed officers were outside the mosque at the time, and police are reviewing their response to the incident.

He said police are treating the matter extremely seriously and are actively looking for the man described as Caucasian, with dark brown hair and of a solid build. They're also undertaking a review of Wednesday's incident.

Superintendent Price said the community was shaken by the behaviour.

"Our community has no tolerance for those who target or victimise others because of their identity, and nor does police. This is especially so for members of our Muslim community, who are already dealing with so much."

Anyone who recognises the man, or who was in the area on Wednesday night and saw something that might help, is urged to contact Christchurch Police on (03) 363 2500 and ask to be put through to the CIB duty squad.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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