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Joint Statement from Arlington (MA) Police Department and Arlington Human Rights Commission Regarding Hate Incidents

Date: 2016-07-18
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The following is a joint statement from the Arlington Police Department and the Arlington Human Rights Commission regarding recent hate incidents around the country and in Arlington:

"The Arlington Police Department (APD) and the Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) are concerned about the increase in intolerance and hate incidents around the country and here in our town. We know that when a tragedy happens in another city, people here are affected by it too. We are all shocked and dismayed by events like the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that targeted the Latinx LGBTQ+ community, the continuing crisis of extrajudicial violence against the Black community, and the recent targeting of police at the peaceful protest in Dallas. 

"The past few months have also seen several hate incidents right here in Arlington. Most recently, swastikas were spray-painted on a black family's garage door just a few days ago. Prior to that, there was recurring racist and anti-Semitic graffiti at Ottoson Middle School, an unsolicited mailing of KKK material to someone's home, and Black Lives Matter signs repeatedly defaced or destroyed at local houses of worship.

"As members of the Arlington community, we offer our unconditional support and solidarity to anyone who has been a victim of racism or anti-Semitism. We are greatly disturbed by these recent events, and we assure you that we will not tolerate hateful acts in our town.

"Our police department is wholly dedicated to the safety and security of all people, and our town services and agencies are committed to fostering not only a tolerant spirit, but an educated and enlightened one as well. Arlington Police and the Human Rights Commission work closely with each other to investigate and resolve hate incidents. We pursue healing and understanding while promising to seek out, identify, and hold responsible those who commit these harmful acts.

"APD and AHRC are committed to creating an atmosphere where everyone in Arlington feels safe and supported. All of us function best when living without fear of violence, discrimination, exclusion, or humiliation. Our children, families, businesses, and the community as a whole are hurt by hateful acts against anyone based on race, color, religious views, national origin, sex, gender identity, citizenship, age, ancestry, family/marital status, sexual orientation, disability, source of income, or military status.

"We are asking for your help in ensuring that all individuals who live, attend school, work, visit, shop, or receive services in Arlington feel welcome and protected here..."

"The Human Rights Commission and Arlington Police continue to partner in the search for additional ways to build community and increase understanding of the different cultures and experiences represented in our diverse town. You are invited to join the discussion at AHRC's meeting on Wednesday, July 20 at 8 p.m. to discuss improving community response to hate incidents."

Details on contacting AHRC and/or the public monthly community meetings can be found online here 

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via APD/AHRC, 7/18/16)

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