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Stop Hate Hotline and Awareness Campaign Proposed by Dunn

Summary

King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn is introducing legislation to create a community-based countywide “Stop Hate” hotline, online reporting system, and public awareness campaign for residents to report hate crimes and incidents. This legislation aims to address the underreporting of hate crimes, even as incidents of hate and bias have seen a rapid rise nationally and in King County.

Story

King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn is introducing legislation to create a community-based countywide “Stop Hate” hotline, online reporting system, and public awareness campaign for residents to report hate crimes and incidents. This legislation aims to address the underreporting of hate crimes, even as incidents of hate and bias have seen a rapid rise nationally and in King County.

With the rapid rise of incidents of hate and bias, we cannot continue to leave our community members vulnerable to these heinous acts and let crimes go unreported,” said Dunn. “My hope is that this community-based effort will empower everyone across King County to report these crimes and have a safe place to do it.”

The King County Prosecutor's Office has reported a significant rise in hate crimes perpetrated in King County, from 30 cases in 2018 to 59 cases in 2020. At the same time, multiple studies show that hate crimes are still vastly underreported. There have been 12 hate crimes filed in King County so far this year. According to national studies, as many as 2 of every 3 hate crimes go unreported due to a number of factors including historical mistrust of the justice system, fear of retribution to oneself or their community, and other factors.

This motion tasks a workgroup, made up of representatives from the Department of Community and Human Services, Public Health Seattle & King County, the King County Prosecutor’s Office, the King County Sheriff's Office, and representatives from community-based organizations that represent populations affected by hate crimes or hate incidents.

If passed, Dunn’s legislation would develop a plan to implement a hate crime hotline, online reporting system, and public awareness campaign for residents of King County to report hate and bias crimes and incidents. It would provide a non-police means for residents to report hate crimes and incidents; to provide access to services for the victim regardless of the whether the incident is reported to law enforcement; and to raise public awareness about the nature of hate and how it affects King County.

The motion now heads to the council’s Community, Health, and Human Services Committee. If passed by the full King County Council, the workgroup will be convened by July 1st and plans for establishing the program must be communicated back to the council by September 1st.

Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Email:
council@kingcounty.gov