0640.80, Bias Crime Reporting
- 18 US Code § 249, Hate crime acts
- ORS 137.678, Analysis of bias-related crime and incident data
- ORS 147.380, Service referral for bias incidents
- ORS 166.155, Bias crime in the second degree
- ORS 166.165, Bias crime in the first degree
- ORS 181A.225, Reporting of crime statistics
- ORS 181A.470, Training relating to Vienna Convention and crimes motivated by prejudice or that constitute abuse
- Portland City Code Chapter 23.01, Civil Rights
- DIR 0640.10, Crime Scene Procedures
- DIR 0900.00, General Reporting Guidelines
- Bias crime: The offenses of Assault, Menacing, Harassment, or Criminal Mischief, when the offender commits the offense because of their perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. Oregon law elevates these offenses to a higher criminal classification and designates them as bias crimes when the offense is committed because of bias against one of the above listed protected classes.
- Bias incident: A person’s hostile expression of animus toward another person, relating to the other person’s perceived race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin, of which criminal investigation or prosecution is impossible or inappropriate. “Bias incident” does not include any incident in which probable cause of the commission of a crime is established by the investigating law enforcement officer.
- Hate group: An organization whose ideology is primarily or substantially based on antipathy, hostility, or hatred towards persons of a different race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.
- Gender identity: Means 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.
- Protected classes: For this directive, protected classes includes race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and national origin.
1. The Bureau recognizes the harmful impact that bias crimes and bias incidents have on victims and the community, and shall employ all necessary resources to promptly identify, investigate, and respond to them appropriately. A swift and strong response by law enforcement can help stabilize and calm the community, as well as aid in a victim’s recovery.
2. The Bureau further recognizes that bias crimes and bias incidents can cause fear, trauma, and deprive victims of feeling safe in their own communities. These crimes, in particular, can violate an entire group or community’s sense of safety and belonging. The Bureau acknowledges the depth of this impact and, as a result, is committed to responding with a victim-centered approach and employing proactive measures to prevent bias crimes.
3. Oregon law specifically recognizes the community harm created by bias crimes and elevates their criminal classification accordingly. This Directive establishes guidelines for responding to bias crimes and bias incidents and ensuring full compliance with victim referral and reporting requirements under state and federal law.
1. Identifying Bias Crimes.
1.1. The key criterion in determining whether a crime may be classified as a bias crime is the perpetrator’s motivation for the crime. Members should consider the following information when identifying a potential bias crime:
1.1.1. Did the victim perceive the crime to be motivated by bias?
1.1.2. Did witnesses perceive the crime to be motivated by bias?
1.1.3. Did the perpetrator make any statements regarding race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin?
1.1.4. Were any symbols, words, or acts associated with hate groups or indicative of bias present at the scene of the crime (e.g., swastikas or racial slurs)?
1.1.5. Is there a history of similar incidents in the same area or against the same victim/group?
1.1.6. Has the perpetrator previously been involved in a hate group or in similar incidents?
1.1.7. Did the crime coincide with a date or event of significance?
1.1.8. Did the victim display their membership or allyship with a protected class?
1.2. Criminal offenses that can be classified as bias crimes are listed in ORS 166.155 and ORS 166.165. The relevant offenses are Assault, Menacing, Criminal Mischief, and Harassment.
2. Proactive Steps to Prevent and Prepare for Bias Crimes.
2.1. While not all crime can be prevented, the Bureau commits to taking a proactive approach to preventing and preparing for bias crimes by:
2.1.1. Making an affirmative effort to contact persons and groups within the community who are likely targets of bias crimes in order to form, and cooperate with, prevention and response networks;
2.1.2. Providing victims with referrals and follow-up, including community-based follow-up;
2.1.3. Educating community and civic groups about bias crime laws; and
2.1.4. Implementing appropriate training, including becoming familiar with the symbols and tactics used by hate groups.
3. Identifying and Responding to Bias Incidents.
3.1. Bias incidents are directed at a person or group because of their actual or apparent membership in a protected class, but are not crimes and do not involve violence, threats of violence, or property damage.
3.2. While bias incidents may be hateful, offensive, or harmful, they are not crimes and may be specifically protected by law.
3.3. When responding to bias incidents, members shall provide victims with victim assistance information and refer them to qualifying local victims’ services as designated by the Oregon Department of Justice. If services are not available, members shall refer victims to the Oregon Department of Justice Non-Emergency Bias Response Hotline.
3.3.1. Members responding to bias incidents shall document the incident by writing a police report and using the appropriate tracking code in the Records Management System.
4. Responding to Potential Bias Crimes.
4.1. Members responding to the scene of a potential bias crime shall follow procedures for responding to a crime scene. In particular, members shall:
4.1.1. Preserve physical evidence such as hate literature, spray paint cans, and symbolic objects used by hate groups, such as swastikas, and contact Forensic Evidence Division (FED).
4.1.2. Recognize the potential need for and request interpreter services, when applicable.
4.1.3. Notify a supervisor and brief them on actions taken.
4.1.4. Ensure that all statements made by suspects are documented when practicable.
4.1.5. Write a police report and designate the crime as a bias crime, when applicable, in the Records Management System.
4.2. If members are unsure whether a crime should be designated and charged as a bias crime, they should consult with a supervisor.
5. Supervisor Responsibilities.
5.1. Supervisors shall:
5.1.1. Notify a Detective Division (Detectives) supervisor to determine if investigators will respond to the scene.
5.1.2. Ensure that a complete and detailed investigation is conducted.
5.1.3. Forward police reports for all bias crimes to the RU commander.
5.1.4. Directly notify the RU commander of any felony bias crime as soon as practicable.
6. Detective Division Responsibilities
6.1. Detective supervisors shall:
6.1.1. Determine whether investigators will respond to the scene of potential bias crimes.
6.1.2. Assign all felony bias crimes for follow-up investigation.
6.1.3. Assign all misdemeanor bias crimes for follow-up investigation, when practicable.
6.1.4. Ensure that follow-up is conducted on assigned cases.
7. Technology Integration Group
7.1. The Technology Integration Group (TIG) shall report statistics on relevant crimes to the Department of State Police (Oregon State Police) at least quarterly in accordance with Oregon law.
8.1. The Bureau shall provide introductory and ongoing training to all sworn members regarding hate groups and bias crimes.
- Originating Directive Date: 08/1990
- Last Revision Signed: 08/03/21
- Effective Date: 09/02/21
- Next Review Date: 09/02/23