To the Editor:
During the past few months, national civil rights organizations have reported an uptick in hate incidents occurring across the United States.
Individuals have reported experiencing harassment at home, at school, at work, on the street, in public parks, on public transportation, in stores or other places of business, and in houses of worship. These messages of intolerance are often made through graffiti and verbal harassment, and a small number of individuals have reported violent physical interactions.
Hate crimes are crimes committed against an individual or group motivated in whole or in part by the individual’s or group’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age or national origin. Hate crimes can include assaults, criminal damage to property or vandalism and other types of harassment. Crimes motivated by bias can carry more severe penalties than the underlying crimes.
Despite the recent increase in hate incidents occurring nationally, many hate crimes go unreported to law enforcement.
The St. Louis Park Human Rights Commission is here to support St. Louis Park residents and refer, assist and report incidents of discrimination and hate crimes in St. Louis Park. The Human Rights Commission advises the City Council in its efforts to ensure all residents protection of their rights and full and equal opportunity for participation in the affairs of this community.
If you are the victim of a hate crime or know someone who has been the victim of a hate crime in St. Louis Park, immediately report the crime to the St. Louis Park Police Department. For emergencies, call 911. For non-emergency situations, call 952-924-2618.
Report all information about the crime, including all facts indicating that the crime was motivated by bias. Be prepared to give as many details as possible, and report the information while the facts are fresh in your mind.
The St. Louis Park Human Rights Commission offers community support at the request of crime victims. Please call our referral line at 952-924-2506 for more information.
Katherine Arnold, Greg Gidden, Bob Griggs, D.J. Hamm, Will Poulter,
St. Louis Park
The letter writers are members of the St. Louis Park Human Rights Commission.