Always seemingly on the cutting edge of policing, the Seattle Police Department (the “SPD“) recently launched a Bias/Hate Crime Data dashboard, which is, of course, timely considering these heated political times. The data is composed of alleged citywide bias crime reports, and is tracked on three separate levels:
1. Malicious Harassment, which includes the motivation of a suspect and his/her belief about the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, handicap (mental, physical or sensory), homelessness, marital status, age, parental status, gender or political identity. These types of crimes usually involve an assault, property damage or threat of harm of some kind against another.
2. Crimes with Bias Elements, which involve bias comments made during the commission of any crime.
3. Non-Criminal Bias Incidents, which include offensive and/or derogatory language that, although hurtful, does not meet the level of a crime and may fall under the category of protected free speech, but may cause a level of fear and concern in the targeted community, and may make the victim feel harassed, intimidated or offended.
SPD has indicated that the newly formed dashboard will be updated monthly, and will join other publicly available data on the City’s open data site. SPD has said that regardless of the level of offense, bias incidents are a priority. Because of this, one should expect that the interpretation of bias will be expansive and the net canvassing the city to curtail bias and harassment will be broad. The unfortunate result is that good people can sometimes get caught up in the enforcement crackdown.
If you or a loved one is cited or charged with a law violation, you should immediately seek the advice and/or assistance of a qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.