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0640.80 Bias Event Response

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number
PPB-0640.80
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0640.80, Bias Event Response

Refer:    

•    18 US Code § 245, violent interference with federally protected activities based on protected class 
•    18 US Code § 247, damage to religious property; obstruction of persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs 
•    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 163.191 Intimidation by Display of a Noose
•    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

Definitions:

  • Bias Event: A call for service that includes a bias nexus. For the purpose of this directive, Bias Events include the following:

    o    Bias Crime: Certain offenses attempted, committed, or allegedly committed based in whole or in part on the offender’s perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin that Oregon law elevates to a higher criminal classification. ORS 166.155 Bias Crime in the second degree criminalizes interference with property, offensive physical contact, and attempts to intimidate people based on their actual or perceived membership in a protected class. ORS 166.165 Bias Crime in the first degree criminalizes assaults, and threats based on the victim’s actual or perceived membership in a protected class.

    o    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. As defined in ORS 137.678 “Bias incident” does not include any incident in which probable cause of the commission of a Bias Crime is established by the investigating law enforcement officer.

    o    Bias Unfounded: An alleged Bias Event proven, through investigation, not to include any evidence of bias motivation.

  • Hate Group: A formal or informal 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: A person’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 person at birth.

  • Protected Classes: For this directive, and Bias Crime in the first and second degree, ORS 166.165, and ORS 166.155, protected classes include race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and national origin. Note that many additional Oregon laws, including civil rights laws, have an expanded list of protected classes (for example age, marital status, housing status, or gender).

  • Oregon Bias Response Hotline: An Oregon Department of Justice-established confidential telephone hotline dedicated to assisting victims and witnesses of Bias Crimes and Bias Incidents. The hotline number is 1-844-924-BIAS (1-844-924-2427). Reports can also be made online or via chat at StandAgainstHate.Oregon.gov.

Policy:
1.    The Bureau recognizes the harmful impact that bias events have on victims and the community, and shall employ all necessary resources to promptly identify, investigate, and respond to them appropriately. A timely and thorough 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 events can cause fear, trauma, and deprive victims of feeling safe in their own communities. These crimes 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 events and ensuring full compliance with victim referral and reporting requirements under state and federal law.  

Procedure: 
1.    Proactive Steps to Prevent and Prepare for Bias Events.
     1.1.    While not all crime can be prevented, the Bureau commits to taking a proactive approach to preventing and                preparing for Bias Events by:
          1.1.1.    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;
          1.1.2.    Providing victims with referrals and follow-up, including community-based follow-up;
          1.1.3.    Educating community and civic groups about bias crime laws; and
          1.1.4.    Implementing appropriate training, including becoming familiar with the symbols and tactics used by                         hate groups.

2.    Bias Crime Considerations.
     2.1.     When identifying a potential bias crime, members should consider whether:
          2.1.1.    There are 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);
          2.1.2.    There is a history of similar incidents in the same area or against the same victim/group;
          2.1.3.    The perpetrator has previously been involved in a hate group or in similar incidents;
          2.1.4.    The event occurred on or around any dates of significance, such religious holidays (e.g., High Holy Days                       Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha, Ramadan, Lunar New Year, Diwali, Ash Wednesday etc.), historic events (e.g.,                         Pride, Black History Month), or deaths of prominent figures. 
          2.1.5.    The event occurred on or around any location of significance, such as houses of worship, cultural                                 safe/special gathering places, or businesses run by or for certain communities.

3.    Member Response to Bias Events.
     3.1.    Members responding to the scene of a potential bias event shall follow procedures for responding to a                        crime scene. In addition, members shall:
          3.1.1.    Notify a supervisor;
          3.1.2.    Preserve physical evidence, and, if appropriate, contact Forensic Evidence Division (FED);
          3.1.3.    Recognize the potential need for and request interpreter services, when applicable; 
          3.1.4.    Ensure that all statements made by suspects are documented, when practicable; 
          3.1.5.    Provide victims with victim assistance information and refer them to qualifying local victims’ services as                       designated by the Oregon DOJ, including the Oregon Bias Response Hotline 1-844-924-BIAS /                                     StandAgainstHate.Oregon.gov (Note: referral cards are available in 30 languages online); and
          3.1.6.    Write a police report and designate with the appropriate tracking code (“T-code”) in the records                                   management system, see section 4.1. 
      3.2.    Members may also refer any witnesses or third-party complainant to the Oregon Bias Response Hotline /                     StandAgainstHate.Oregon.gov.

4.    Member Reporting.
     4.1.    When completing the general offense report, members shall use the following T-codes for Bias Events:
          4.1.1.    Bias Crimes: T83
          4.1.2.    Bias Incidents: T831
          4.1.3.    Bias Unfounded: T832

     4.2. Members should not code Bias Events with an “88” bias tracking code, which indicates that there is no bias                  nexus.

     4.3 If a member is unsure whether a crime should be designated and charged as a bias crime, they should consult           with a supervisor.

5. Supervisor Responsibilities. 
     5.1 Notify the Major Crimes Unit via email (MajorCrimes@police.portlandoreg…) for all Bias Events.

     5.2. For Bias Crimes, supervisors shall also page a Detective Division Major Crimes Unit supervisor when: 
          5.2.1. The member takes a suspect into custody;
          5.2.2. The victim sustains a physical injury; or 
          5.2.3. In the public interest.

     5.3.    Notify their Responsibility Unit (RU) Commander of all Bias Events via the chain of command. 
          5.3.1.    Include a copy of the police report for all Bias Crimes. 
          5.3.2.    Directly notify the RU Commander of any felony bias crime, as soon as practicable.


     5.4. Ensure the member:
          5.4.1. Conducted a complete and detailed investigation;
          5.4.2. Satisfied all reporting requirements; and 
          5.4.3. Provided victims with victim assistance information and referred them to qualifying victims’ services,                            including the Oregon Bias Response Hotline.

6. Detective Division Supervisors Responsibilities.
     6.1  Determine whether investigators will respond to assist with bias crime investigations;
     

     6.2. Review all bias event reports; and

     6.3.  Assign all felony bias crimes for follow-up investigation.

     6.4. Assign all misdemeanor bias crimes for follow-up investigation, when practicable.
          6.4.1 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. Training
     8.1. All sworn members shall receive introductory training regarding hate groups and bias events. The Bureau shall provide additional training, as identified through the Bureau’s training needs assessment process.

Effective:          6/1/2024

Next Review:   6/1/2026

Upcoming and Recent Changes

0640.80 Bias Event Response

Effective Date

0640.80 Bias Crime Reporting

Effective Date

0640.80 Bias Crime Reporting

Effective Date

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