What to do to protect yourself and others
If you are the victim of a hate crime, or see or hear one:
Call 911 or your local police station to file a report.
- Ask for the responding officer’s name and badge number.
- Make sure the officer files an incident-report form and assigns a case number. If the officer doesn’t immediately file a report, go to the police station and ask for one. Always get your own copy, even if the report is preliminary.
- File a civil-rights complaint online or call 1-800-771-7755.
What can the Office of the New York State Attorney General do?
- launch civil investigations into bias based acts of violence or intimidation
- sue the perpetrator when they have harmed another person or violated their civil rights based on protected characteristics
- take legal action, even if local prosecutors have not charged a hate crime
- get an injunction to prevent further harm to the community
What can you do if no action was taken by the police?
- report the incident to the Office of the New York State Attorney General for investigation
- hire an attorney to bring a civil case against the perpetrator. The perpetrator may have to pay for damages
Checklist to provide detailed information to help the police and the Attorney General’s Office:
- Did you see or hear threatening language or a physical interaction? Did the perpetrator have any tattoos or other body markings?
- Was the perpetrator wearing anything with an identifiable logo or message?
- Did the incident happen during a significant event, like a holiday or cultural celebration?
- Did you see any alarming graffiti, like racial slurs or swastikas, on public or private property?
- Did you see damage to a cemetery, church, or temple?
- Has a similar incident ever happened in your community? When? Where?