Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced a Bias Crimes data dashboard is now live for public inspection. Click here to view the dashboard.
DA Schmidt’s administration presented the dashboard to the Muslim Advisory Council (MAC) in advance of its public launch for feedback and community engagement.
The MAC is made up of Muslim religious leaders and community members as well as members of the Portland Police Bureau with the express purpose of working to collaborate on the many complex socio-economic, political, and cultural issues in relation to the American criminal justice system and community safety and security.
The MAC provided a statement in response to the Bias Crime data dashboard launch:
“Being targeted for religious beliefs, skin color, gender or ability is a daily reality for many in our community. For the Muslim community, we often face judgment before people get to know us or talk to us. For a long time, these experiences have been invisible. Shining a light on bias crimes in Multnomah County not only validates the experiences of diverse communities, but it sends a message that hate will not be tolerated here.”
The Bias Crime data dashboard allows the public to view bias crimes issued for prosecution by the District Attorney’s office over the last three years. It is searchable by bias-crime type, and date. Bias crime protected classes include race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and national origin.
“Data collection and tracking is just as much a reflection of our values as it is a science. Our office denounces hate in all forms and works to advance equity within our role in the criminal justice system. Part of this work is educating the public of the prevalence of discrimination in our community,” DA Mike Schmidt stated.
“The Bias Crime data dashboard is intended to stand in stark opposition to acts of hate while providing a practical tool for policymakers, leaders, and the communities most impacted by bias crimes.” DA Schmidt continued.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office (MCDA) has engaged in multiple endeavors to steward accountability for bias crimes in Multnomah County. MCDA was an active participant of the Oregon Attorney General’s Hate Crimes Task Force and helped draft legislation in 2019 that renamed the crime of “intimidation” to “bias crime”.
It also added to the list of protected classes “gender identity,” meaning "an individual’s gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior, regardless of whether the identity, appearance, expression, or behavior differs from that associated with the gender assigned to the individual at birth.”
All potential bias crime cases, whether they are a felony or misdemeanor, are reviewed by the Violent Crimes Unit within the MCDA. If a misdemeanor bias crime is issued, the felony-level attorney will retain the case.
If you are the victim of a bias crime assault or you are witnessing one, immediately call 9-1-1. If you are the victim of a bias crime and the suspect is no longer present or if you have information about a bias crime committed in the past, call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.
MCDA does not notify or alert immigration officials or agencies regarding individuals (witnesses, victims, or defendants) with whom we come into contact.
MCDA thanks the Muslim Advisory Council and the Portland Police Bureau for their assistance in launching the Bias Crimes data dashboard. Special thanks to Deputy District Attorney Caroline Wong who leads MCDA's Research and Evaluation Unit and was instrumental to the development of the Bias Crime data Dashboard.
Source: Multnomah County District Attorney