Hate crimes: King County Council to consider legislation for a reporting system

In the wake of a report on rising hate crimes throughout King County, legislation to establish hate crime reporting systems and awareness campaign has been passed by the King County Council.

On Aug. 30, the council’s Law, Justice, Health, and Human Services Committee decided passed the legislation after Councilmember Reagan Dunn introduced the proposal. Dunn referenced numbers from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, saying that the most current hate crimes total is 95 filed cases, indicating that hate crimes have increased since 2020.

“Crimes motivated by hate and bias have surged to record-setting levels across King County, and yet we know that the vast majority these incidents still go underreported,” Dunn said. “An expansion of a community-based reporting system is what our county needs in order to assist victims who may not otherwise file a police report. I am thankful to my colleagues for supporting this effort to increase justice for all residents in our communities by establishing a dedicated hate crime reporting system.”

The full council will vote on the legislation on Sept. 13, and if it is approved, a community-based Stop Hate Hotline will be expanded to include “telephone and web-based online portals for reporting hate crimes and hate incidents.” The proposal also includes incident reporting requirements when collecting data and an attendant public awareness campaign.