Are hate crimes on the rise in King County? In 2020, the King County Prosecutor’s Office filed 56 hate crime cases. That was 17 more than 2019 and 26 more than 2018. And – unfortunately – it didn’t take long for 2021’s first hate crime to be filed in the county.
On Wednesday, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged a white man who angrily threatening and shouted racial slurs at a black Metro bus driver on Capitol Hill. Although the bus driver didn’t actually see a weapon, the man’s aggressive action combined with his ‘hate’ filled language, put the woman in fear for her life and her overall safety. Transit deputies caught up with the man as he was walking along the street after exiting the bus. Upon questioning, the man freely and unabashedly admitted to the woman’s allegations that he threatened to shoot her while using racial slurs.
The hate crime designation for the offense committed against the bus driver increases the man’s harassment charge to a felony from a gross misdemeanor. He faces up to 5 years in prison. And no doubt the prosecutor’s office is going to take the case extremely serious.
If recent trends hold true, this allegation, arrest and charge is just the beginning of a slew of hate crimes being charged in King County, unfortunately. The current social climate appears to have incited many in one form or another. Lest it be said, law enforcement may surely have its hands full, but time will tell as 2021 progresses.
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge (whether it be in Seattle or elsewhere), don’t hesitate to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal attorneys 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.