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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 19, 2021

Acting U.S. Attorney and FBI Special Agent in Charge Condemn Anti-Asian Bias and Discrimination

PORTLAND, Ore.—The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon and the FBI Portland Field Office condemn recent acts of violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“Recent acts of violence targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are a tragic reminder that our country has much work to do to achieve the promise of equal protection and justice for all,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “Hate-motivated crimes against anyone will not be tolerated. Federal law enforcement will continue to use every available tool and resource to identify and prosecute these crimes whenever and wherever they occur.”

“Asian American and Pacific Islander families in Oregon make up an important part of our cultural identity and heritage, past and present,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “They—like every other community in our state—deserve respect and the ability to live, work, and raise their children without fear. The people of the FBI stand with them, and we will thoroughly investigate any violations of federal law, including threats or acts of violence based on race or ethnicity.”

Recent reports of hate-related activity in our state are deeply concerning to members of our law enforcement community. Beyond local reports, Oregonians have likely seen an increase in news reports and social media posts about alleged hate crimes and harassment across the country. These reports have caused many in our community to fear for their safety.

Under federal law, acts of bias are unlawful if they involve violence, threats, or deprive people of their civil rights. A hate crime is a violent act against a person committed because of the person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Victims and witnesses of crime are not responsible for determining whether an action rises to the level of a hate crime, and we encourage reports to law enforcement officers trained to investigate.

Federal law also protects against discrimination based on race and national origin in several important areas of daily life, including but not limited to:

  1. Housing, see www.justice.gov/crt/fair-housing-act-1.
  2. Immigration and Employee Rights, see www.justice.gov/crt/immigrant-and-employee-rights-section.
  3. Public Accommodations, see www.justice.gov/crt/title-ii-civil-rights-act-public-accommodations.
  4. Educational Opportunities, see www.justice.gov/crt/types-educational-opportunities-discrimination.

These basic civil rights take on special significance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. More information about these and other federal civil rights protections is available at www.civilrights.justice.gov/#your-rights.

If you or someone you know have been physically harmed or otherwise believe you are the victim of a crime, please call 911. You can also contact the FBI Portland Field Office by calling (503) 224-4181, or by submitting a tip online at www.tips.fbi.gov.

If you or someone you know have been the victim of unlawful discrimination in housing, employment, places of public accommodation, educational opportunities, or other areas, the Department of Justice may be able to help. You can report violations online via the Civil Rights Reporting Portal at www.civilrights.justice.gov or by calling the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon at (503) 727-1000.

Topic(s): 
Hate Crimes
Component(s): 
Updated March 19, 2021