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No Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Reported In Eugene For 2021 Yet; Officials Fear Incidents Go Unreported

No hate crimes against Asian-Americans have been reported in Eugene so far this year. But officials worry incidents may just be going unreported.

In 2020, there were five hate crimes reported to the city. 

“Those included one case of harassment, two cases of hate speech, two cases of hate graffiti,” said Fabio Andrade, Human Rights and Equity Analyst for the City of Eugene.  He says so far, 2021 has been quiet, even as harassment and violent assaults against Asian-Americans have made national headlines in recent months.

“We have heard from advocates and other people in the community that these things are happening, and that people may feel not comfortable reporting to police or reporting to us.”

Andrades said victims or witnesses may be hesitant to report incidents. He suspected some aren’t comfortable speaking out, or aren’t sure where to begin.

“We just ask people to report those cases," Andrades told KLCC.  "If they hear about them, if they know the victim, if talk to the victim, and ask them to contact our office, or if people just want to provide us information, if they have been a witness in that case, they can also report those case to us.”

The City of Eugene website has a page for reporting hate crimes, and the Eugene Police Department also receives reports.

The website, Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate, ranks Oregon 16th out of its top 20 states for hate crimes against Asian-Americans.  According to its latest report, 82 incidents across Oregon have been reported during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act yesterday to address increasing harassment and assaults against Asian people during the pandemic.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.