Minneapolis Adds Hate Crime and Discrimination Reporting to 311 Services

The City of Minneapolis added hate crime and discrimination reporting on Jun. 19, which it defines as crimes motivated by prejudice, to its 311 services. Those outside of Minneapolis can call 612-673-3000 or contact the Department of Justice at 612-664-5600. Immediate threats of violence or property damage should be reported to 911.

In late November 2016, Mayor Betsy Hodges and the City Council passed a resolution that officially condemned racial violence and hate speech in the city, standing in solidarity with its Muslim community. There are about 50,000 Muslims living within Minneapolis’ borders.

Minneapolis also states in its City vision, values, goals and strategic directions that it is committed to human rights and racial equity for everyone who lives in, works in and visits the city. The City recently asserted the same reasons for passing an ordinance to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

In a statement made on the city’s website the Director of Minneapolis’ Department of Civil Rights, Velma Korbel, said that recent incidents across the country precipitated the need to give citizens additional avenues to report hate crimes.

Since the general election, many of us have experienced, witnessed firsthand or heard of actions of: racism, xenophobia, sexism and bigotry directed at people here and in cities across the United States. In no uncertain terms, hate-motivated speech and actions have no place in Minneapolis nor will they be tolerated. Activities such as these are against the law. No one is above the law.

The hotline came under fire from multiple “alt-right” publications. Freedom Daily, the most prominent of the article according to Media Matters, said that riots were about to break out because Minnesota gave Muslims full control to round up ‘infidels’ and control free speech.

In the press release, Minneapolis defines what constitutes a hate crime and defines what it considers discrimination to its citizens.

Hate crimes
A hate crime is any crime against a person or property motivated by prejudice against someone’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity. This includes prejudice-motivated property damage (including graffiti), stalking and assault.

Minneapolis is committed to human rights and racial equity for everyone who lives in, works in and visits our city. Public jurisdictions in Minnesota, including the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, City of Saint Paul Equal Opportunity Office and the Minnesota FBI, are working together to ensure all Minnesotans feel safe and welcome.

Discrimination is an action or a decision that treats a person or a group negatively for reasons such as their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.

If you, your family or someone you know experiences discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, sex, LGBT status or other protected class, or has been the victim of police misconduct, please call 612-673-3012 or visit www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights.

The mission of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights is to enforce Minneapolis Code of Ordinances Title 7 (non-discrimination); Title 9, Chapter 172 (police conduct oversight)Title 16, Chapter 423 (small and underutilized business programs); Title 2, Chapter 24 (prevailing wage); and to promote understanding of civil rights among residents, businesses and government.

The 311 hotline will be answered 7 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekends. Anyone who wants to help promote hate crime reporting can download and print a high resolution poster.

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