SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The FBI’s San Francisco office launched a publicity campaign to encourage the victims of hate crimes to come forward, federal officials announced Thursday.
The bureau placed an ad on a city train that reads “Speak Up, Be Heard, Report Now. Report Hate Crimes to the FBI.” The ad also lists a website — tips.fbi.gov — where people can file reports of hate crimes.
The FBI’s efforts come amid a wave of attacks against Asian Americans — many of them elderly — in San Francisco and across the country.
This week, a man is accused of stabbing two elderly Asian women as they waited for a bus in downtown San Francisco. Patrick Thompson, 54, was arrested and is expected to be arraigned Friday.
The bureau also launched a social media campaign that includes a photo of an elderly Asian woman and a message that reads, “Did you know many hate crimes are not reported? The FBI wants to help but we need to hear from you.” It encourages people who have been victims of a hate crime or have witnessed one to call their local law enforcement agencies or reach out to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
“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,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair said in a statement.
The FBI in San Francisco is strengthening its efforts to investigate federal hate crimes by training more special agents to investigate hate crime and civil rights violations.
“These special agents will also conduct outreach to community groups to spread awareness, build trust, and encourage additional reporting of hate crimes to the FBI,” the bureau said.
The bureau is also increasing its collaboration with local and state law enforcement partners and tribal authorities throughout Northern California and offering assistance and training on federal hate crime statutes, it said.
The FBI is the lead investigative agency for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes. It says hate crimes are often underreported to federal and local law enforcement.