The police chief of Bellevue, Washington says he is ‘convinced’ Asian-Americans are being attacked in response to the Coronavirus outbreak but are just not reporting the crimes.
There are reports in the media, on social media, and spreading throughout communities that people of Chinese heritage are increasingly becoming targets of hate crimes and being blamed for COVID-19—although these numbers are extremely low and sometimes unfounded.
“I am disturbed to hear that people are being targeted and blamed for COVID 19. If this is happening here in Bellevue it needs to stop. I encourage any victim of a hate crime or bias-related incident to contact their local police department and report the incident – we need to know about it. We will vigorously pursue and arrest anyone who commits a hate crime in Bellevue,” said Police Chief Steve Mylett.
“These are stressful times for everyone. COVID-19 doesn’t recognize race, nationality, or ethnicity, and viruses don’t discriminate,” Mylett said. “Please, stop blaming, support one another, heed the orders to stay home. The life you save may be your own or someone close to you.”
The Chief says he’s convinced incidents are occurring and they’re just not being reported. “I need our Chinese neighbors to tell us if they are a victim of hate because of their Chinese heritage. The Bellevue Police Department is here to protect and serve you, but we can’t help if we don’t know about it.”