News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Hate crimes high priority for FBI

The Portland Division of the FBI is joining the FBI’s nationwide efforts to increase awareness about hate crimes and encourage reporting of hate incidents with advertising campaign across Oregon. 

The campaign, which began  Nov. 6, includes billboards in Medford, Eugene, Corvallis, as well as static and digital displays reaching thousands of passengers daily at Portland International Airport.

The FBI defines a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

The FBI is the lead investigative agency for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes and works closely with local, state, tribal, and other federal law enforcement partners in many of these cases, even when federal charges are not pursued.

“Violent acts motivated by hate are unacceptable in our communities. Sadly though, the amount of hate crimes reported here in Oregon has doubled from what it was just five years ago,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. 

“The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold those accountable whose hate-filled aggression violates the civil rights of others.”

There are a number of federal laws that give the FBI the ability to investigate hate crimes. Those laws generally require some kind of criminal act and a finding that the person committing the act did so because he/she was motivated by bias.

Under federal law, bias motivators include: race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, gender, gender identity and aexual orientation.

Anyone who has information about or believes they are a victim of a federal hate crime should contact the FBI by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.

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