NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The FBI field office in New Haven has begun its campaign to raise awareness of unreported and potential Asian American Hate Crimes in Connecticut.
And it involves trying to create confidence and resolve in the public.
A new approach in reaching those, who have been victims of hate crimes. Soon the FBI will release public service announcements in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Cambodian.
"Our message was delivered by an FBI special agent, Connecticut State Trooper, the Attorney General of Connecticut, and Dr. Henry Lee," said David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Connecticut.
Dr. Lee, the now-retired famed forensic scientist, was also commissioner of the Connecticut State Police.
"Lip service is cheap," Lee said. "Talk is cheap."
The Chief State's Attorney's Office is working with the governor's office and the legislature "to make sure that these statutes that are on the books to prosecute individuals, who commit these crimes, are affectively written," said Kevin Lawlor, Deputy Chief State’s Attorney.
"The latest year for which there are confirmed statistics was 2019 in which there were 76 reported hate-related incidents to (Connecticut) law-enforcement," said Len Boyle Acting US Attorney, District of Connecticut.
A number of officials say hate crimes are on the rise in Connecticut since 2019. And recent attacks on Asian Americans in New York and Atlanta brought the issue more into the spotlight.
"Somebody in Milford Connecticut was attacked just last week," said Connecticut's Attorney General, William Tong.
"These crimes we know are greatly underreported due to the amount of fear of retaliation against these members," noted Trooper Josue Dorelus, a Public Information Officer for Connecticut State Police.
"Don’t be afraid of your immigration status," Tong said, in urging folks to come forward. "Don’t be afraid of who you are, where are you come from. We are there to protect you."
By next Monday afternoon, the New Haven FBI expects to be the first field office to issue a public service announcement in multiple languages encouraging people to report hate crimes.
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