Law enforcement officials in Seattle are cracking down on hate crimes and urging residents to call 911 over “racist name-calling.”
Police Chief Carmen Best and former KING 5 reporter Lori Matsukawa put out a video on Monday claiming there is zero tolerance for hate crimes against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Washington state is no place for hate,” Best said in the video.
“We will document and investigate every reported crime, even racist name-calling should be reported to police,” she said. “We take this information very seriously.”
She urged, “If you aren’t sure a hate crime occurred, call 911. We’re here to help and we’ll respond to investigate.”
“There’s no place for that in our community,” Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett told K5 News.
The bigoted comments, keep them to yourself. No one person in this country is to blame for COVID-19. We are in this together. COVID-19 does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or anything else.
The FBI has warned about a possible increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
An FBI report said, according to ABC News:
The FBI assesses hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease … endangering Asian American communities,” an FBI report said, according to ABC News.
The FBI makes this assessment based on the assumption that a portion of the US public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations.
The FBI report cited a stabbing of a family in a Midland, Texas, store as an example.
CBS 7 reported on the incident:
The 19-year-old who investigators say stabbed and cut the four people at the Midland Sam’s Club told police he was attempting to kill a family shopping in the store, according to an arrest affidavit.
Pictures posted on Facebook show that the father and his son were cut very badly across their faces. The son, who is very young, has a cut reaching from behind his ear all the way across to his eye.
Police say Jose Gomez also stabbed a Sam’s employee in the leg when he tried to stop Gomez. His hand was also cut up as he tried to get the knife away from Gomez, according to the affidavit.
Gomez was thwarted by an off-duty Border Patrol agent and a store worker.
“Gomez is charged with three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,” according to the news station.