The FBI’s San Francisco Division announced on Thursday a new strategy to combat the uptick in hate crimes being reported against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders within the San Francisco Bay Area, which have coincided with the months of anti-Asian rhetoric associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to CBS San Francisco, the agency’s office said that the new strategy includes directing new resources and personnel towards hate crime investigations and increasing coordination and cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.
The FBI will also train more special agents to conduct these hate crime and civil rights investigations, as well as conduct outreach to community groups, such as religious organizations and minority associations, to strengthen trust and encourage the public to report hate crimes, reports San Mateo Daily Journal.
“We applaud and support these efforts and will continue to coordinate closely with the FBI in this vital enforcement area,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds in a prepared statement, reports CBS San Francisco. “In addition, we will do our part to ensure all federal law enforcement components are using the available tools to prosecute and bring to justice anyone who violates the hate crime statutes, and will vigorously enforce the federal civil rights laws.”
The FBI launched a public awareness campaign on social media as well as advertisements on Muni trains throughout San Francisco to further increase awareness and encourage people to report hate crimes, reports San Mateo Daily Journal. Community residents were encouraged to report hate crimes or other civil rights violations to the FBI San Francisco Division by calling (415) 553-7400 or submitting a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
According to CBS San Francisco, a focus of the FBI’s strategy would be overcoming hesitancy by undocumented residents in reporting hate crimes.
“We understand that some individuals may be afraid to come forward to law enforcement,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair in a prepared statement, reports CBS San Francisco. “I want to assure the community that the FBI works to protect all victims of crimes, regardless of their country of national origin or immigration status. Acts of hate and racism have no place here and will not be tolerated.”
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story or making a contribution.