Spokane County Human Rights Task Force releases first report studying hate
The task force is asking community members to report incidents of hate crimes or bias.
The Spokane County Human Rights Task Force is asking for the public’s help in studying hate.
The organization released its first report this week. Its conclusions are drawn from a combination of community and law enforcement reports of hate incidents.
The report showed the common type of hate incidents in Spokane County are threats and intimidation. In more than a third of the cases victims were targeted based on their race, with a largest share of incidents against people who identified as Black. The second largest category of incidents was people targeted on the basis of their religion.
Spokane County Human Rights Task Force Chair Paul Schneider said the information may help local leaders support those communities.
“This is an initial launching point for beginning to understand so we can work with policy makers, other non-profits and community groups to make sure we're beginning to listen to communities that have been on the margins for far too long,” he said, “to see what we can do to improve their lives so that everyone feels safe in Spokane County.”
Schneider said limitations of the source data mean the report is not the full picture of hate in the region. He said he hopes more people feel safe to come forward with their experiences.
“Part of the work here is we can collect data only from those willing to give it,” Schneider said. “We're trying to get the word out as best we can to use our reporting tool which can be used anonymously as a way to more accurately count and uncover areas of bias.”
He said the first report includes data gathered between 2019 and 2021. He said future reports will be released yearly. People can read the full report, or learn how to report hate, on the Spokane County Human Rights task force’s website.