PORTLAND, Ore. – The US Attorney’s Office for Oregon District and the FBI Portland Field Office condemn recent acts of violence against Asian Americans and islanders in the Pacific.
“The recent acts of violence against Asian Americans and islanders in the Pacific are a tragic reminder that our country has a lot to do to achieve the promise of equal protection and justice for all,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, acting US attorney for the Oregon District. “Hate crimes against anyone will not be tolerated. Federal law enforcement agencies will continue to use all available tools and resources to identify and prosecute these crimes whenever and wherever they occur. “
“Oregon-Asian-American and Pacific Islander families are an important part of our cultural identity and heritage, past and present,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, FBI special agent in Oregon. “Like every other community in our state, they deserve respect and the ability to live, work and raise their children without fear. The FBI people are there to help, and we will thoroughly investigate all violations of federal law, including threats or acts of violence based on race or ethnicity. “
Recent reports of hate activity in our state are of great concern to members of our law enforcement community. Beyond local reports, Oregonians have likely seen an increase in news and social media posts about suspected hate crime and harassment across the country. These reports have raised many in our community to fear for their safety.
According to federal law, acts of bias are illegal if they contain violence, threats or deprive people of their civil rights. A hate crime is a violent act against a person committed because of their real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Crime victims and witnesses are not responsible for determining whether an act reaches hate crime levels, and we encourage law enforcement officers trained to investigate to report.
Federal law also protects against racial and national discrimination in several important areas of daily life including, but not limited to:
- Housing, see www.justice.gov/crt/fair-housing-act-1.
- Immigration and workers’ rights, see www.justice.gov/crt/immigrant-and-employee-rights-section.
- You can find public accommodation at www.justice.gov/crt/title-ii-civil-rights-act-public-accommodations.
- You can find educational opportunities at www.justice.gov/crt/types-educational-opportunities-discrimination.
These basic civil rights are of particular importance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on these and other federal rights, please visit www.civilrights.justice.gov/#your-rights.
If you, or someone you know has been physically injured or otherwise believes to be the victim of a crime, please call 911. You can also contact the FBI Portland Field Office by calling (503) 224-4181 or submitting a tip online at www.tips.fbi.gov.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of unlawful discrimination in relation to housing, employment, public housing, educational opportunities, or any other area, the Department of Justice may be able to help. You can report violations online through the Civil Rights Reporting Portal at www.civilrights.justice.gov or by calling the Oregon District Attorney at (503) 727-1000.