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Rosenblum urges lawmakers to strengthen Oregon’s hate crime law

Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum

SALEM, Oregon — Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is working to change the state’s hate crime laws.

She formed the Hate Crimes Task Force to review reporting and prosecution of hate crimes.

“We don’t know as much as we should about hate and bias crimes in our state,” Rosenblum said.

Rosenblum says the number of bias crimes is higher than reported because people are afraid to call police.

Nancy Hawk, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon said that’s true.

“Even in 2019, people are afraid to report these crimes to police,” Hawk explained.

Hawk said that’s because people don’t think anything will happen.

A bill would strengthen penalties for threatened or actual assaults.  It would make gender identity a protected class and improve reporting of bias crimes.

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