SAN DIEGO — Law enforcement agencies in San Diego County are condemning racism and intolerance against the Asian American Pacific Islander community and calling on everyone to report all hate incidents and crimes.
They released a joint statement about their efforts to stop hate crimes against the Asian community and all protected groups.
Whether you think you’re a victim of a hate crime or you see someone being victimized or harassed, these agencies say they want all of us to do one thing: report it.
“Collecting information about hate crime incidents is very important because we know that hate crimes are often preceded by hate incidents and hate speech,” said San Diego County District Attorney, Summer Stephan.
The San Diego County District Attorney, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California are asking the public to report all hate incidents and crimes, even if you are just a witness.
“Reports of threats or even taunts can often serve as evidence of hate bias and intent in future criminal cases. Reports should be directed to the FBI but if there’s an emergency or emergency situation or immediate attention is needed, victims should always call 911,” said Randy Grossman, Acting U.S. Attorney.
Asian American Pacific Islander communities across the country have been on high alert after eight people including six Asian women were murdered in Atlanta last week. Police have not yet determined if the murders were a hate crime. Stephan says her office set up the first online reporting tool in the County and it’s been used over 115 times in the last year.
“Remember, if you report something and it turns out not to be a hate crime or crime, you’re not going to get in trouble, because so long as you report what you see or hear in good faith, that’s all that matters.”
Stephan says her office now has three anti-Asian hate crime cases, all happening since the pandemic began. In 2018 and 2019, the San Diego County D.A. says there were no reported cases of anti-Asian hate.
Remember, anyone can contact the D.A., the FBI or the U.S. Attorney with information about a hate incident, even if you are not involved. For more information or if you'd like to report a hate incident or crime, you can go to San Diego County D.A.'s online reporting tool. The FBI can be reached by calling: 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.
Additional resources regarding hate crimes and bias incidents are here:
Watch: San Diegans remain vigilant after recent hate crimes against Asians in California