Oregonians urged to report hate crimes

Increase in hate crimes reported

An FBI badge and gun. (Courtesy, Wiki Commons)
An FBI badge and gun. (Courtesy, Wiki Commons)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office want Oregonians to report any perceived hate-related activity.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Oregon, there has been an increase in the perceived hate-related activity occurring throughout the Portland metropolitan.

“The United States Attorney’s Office, with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, wants to reassure community members that we are united in our efforts to combat hate crimes in any form and to repudiate the targeting of individuals because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. “We remain committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting all hate crimes.”

Anyone concerned about their immediate safety should call 9-1-1.

“Everyone has a right to live, work and worship freely and without fear,” said Loren Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “When someone commits a crime of violence against you because of your race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender or gender identity, the FBI will stand with you to make sure our shared community is both safe and just.”

For crimes committed in Oregon, the FBI Portland Division can be reached at (503) 224-4181. A list of all local FBI offices is available at: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices. Reports to the FBI can also be submitted online from any state via: https://tips.fbi.gov.

Senator Lew Frederick, D-Portland, introduced Senate Bill 356, which, if approved, would update Oregon’s law on intimidation crime law to include ethnicity and gender and would direct law enforcement agencies to report stats to the Department of Justice, according to Hilary G. Bernstein, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that there were 867 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation in the U.S. in the 10 days after the Nov. 8 election. Records show there were 33 cases during that same time period in Oregon.

Recently, the Oregon Education Association developed a reporting site on its website to track hate crime events in the school settings. KOIN 6 News has learned this is a first for the association, and was prompted by the need to bear witness to the climate in which educators increasingly find themselves and students experiencing.