Upstander Training Town Hall Responding To Hate Incidents And Hate Crimes

Irvine has been experiencing an increased number of reported hate incidents and hate crimes.  It is believed that these events are vastly underreported.  Since 2020 hate incidents and hate crimes against members of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community have drastically increased in number.

In response to the need for community support for victims of hate incidents and hate crimes, the City of Irvine held an Upstander Training virtual town hall meeting on March 31, 2021.  The meeting was hosted by Mayor Farrah Khan and the invited speakers were Irvine Police Chief Hamel and Don Han, Director of Operations for OC Human Relations.

Click to watch the 3/31/21 Town Hall Training

Definitions related to hate activity which consists of attacks on one’s physical self and on one’s identity:

Hate Crime: A hate crime is a criminal act committed, at least in part, in response to hate based on disability, nationality, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation of the victim.

Hate Incidents: hate incidents that are not a crime which are committed, at least in part, in response to hate based on disability, nationality, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or sexual identity of  the victim.

Reporting and investigation of hate incidents and hate crimes

People are encouraged to report both hate crimes and hate incidents to the Irvine Police, City of Irvine’s Hate Crime/Hate Incident Report Portal and to OC Human relations. Reports are taken in multiple languages and are responded to by officers speaking multiple languages or by officers using interpreter services. Both reports of hate incidents and hate crimes are fully investigated. OC Human relations also investigates hate crimes and hate incidents and provides services in multiple languages.

To report a hate crime or incident with the Irvine Police click here.

To report a hate crime with OC Human Relations click here.

Bystander intervention methods to use after making sure that the situation is safe for both the bystander and the victim:

  1. Confront the attacker; firmly call out the abuser/attacker condemning the behavior.
  2. Take an indirect approach by means of distracting the abuser such as asking for the time or for directions.
  3. Delegate by asking another bystander or third party, such as a store manager, for assistance.
  4. Document the incident describing the parties (name, and contact information) what happened and where.
  5. Check in with the victim after the incident and reporting is over to see how the victim is doing and to check for their need for support services..

Standing up to hate directed at you after making sure the situation is safe to do so:

  1. Interrupt the abuser by asking clarifying questions such as “what did I just hear you say?”, “why did you say that?”
  2. Ask the abuser why they feel that way.
  3. Educate the abuser by sharing personal experiences.
  4. Echo:  repeat what the abuser just said.

If you are a victim of a hate incident or hate crime:

  1. Call the police to report the incident and file a report with OC Human Relations here.
  2. Obtain medical treatment if it is needed.
  3. Leave evidence in place for follow up investigation.
  4. Obtain name, address and contact information of witnesses.

What needs to be done to stop hate incidents:

  1.  Know the hate.
  2. Understand the hate.
  3. Change the hate

What the community should do to reduce hate incidents and hate crimes

  1. Recognize hate crimes and hate incidents.
  2. Report the hate crimes and hate incidents.
  3. Create an environment where members of the community do not tolerate bias, hate and differences of perspectives.
  4. Create opportunities for diverse community members to come together and learn about each other.

Support Services

  1. Irvine Police Department provides resources and referrals to victim advocacy agencies.
  2. Irvine Police Department has trained volunteers that provide trauma intervention services.
  3. Irvine Police Department has officers located in schools that address bullying and hate activity.
  4. OC Human Relations, which provides a number of community based programs to address hate activities, offered to partner with the City of Irvine to develop specialized programs including programs in Irvine schools. Mayor Khan stated that she would look into creating partnership programs with OC Human Relations.

Irvine has been described as a proudly diverse city.  Irvine is taking actions to promote public safety and the sense of community between residents with diverse backgrounds..   The Upstander training Town Hall provided very useful training.  However, in order to further increase the sense of community and promote public safety in Irvine,  I would like to see Irvine create a volunteer chaperone program similar to the “Compassion In Oakland”  chaperone program which was established in Oakland, California to provide community members with accompaniment for shopping , appointments and personal errands.