Boise Loves: Discussion On Recent Hate Crimes Focuses on Positive Action

About 30 people looking to do something about hate crime in Idaho gathered at the a.l.p.h.a. (Allies Linked for the Prevention of HIV and AIDS) office in Boise on Sunday afternoon to search for solutions.

One of the most frustrating issues for Boise law enforcement has been the fact that though there is plenty of anecdotalevidence that hate crimes are on the rise, so far this year no hate crimes related to sexual orientation have been officially reported.

Victims in attendance were also able to share some of their  own frustrations with Boise Police Department LGBTQ Liaison officer Janet Folwler.

Duane Quintana, a.l.p.h.a.’s Executive Director, says that Fowler had not realized the connection between the lack of protection in Idaho’s Human Right’s act for the LGBTQIA community and the lack of reporting a hate crime.

“I think she was able to see why a person might not want to file a police report in fear of outing themselves.” Says Quintana.

Reports to law enforcement are kept confidential but community organizers say the concern underscores the need for adding the words, “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the Act.

The group also discussed the need for a campaign to get the word out to Idaho’s LGBTQIA community that it’s important to report the crimes when they occur.

Also discussed during the meeting was the new Boise Loves facebook page, which not only focuses on supporting the LGBTQ community in the area of hate crimes but in other areas as well.

“We want it to be a page where people can share their positive action ideas as well as get inspired by others.” Says Quintina.

Quintana says he and others will be scheduling a meeting with the U.S. Attorney’s office and others to talk about the hate crime problem. He is also hoping for a followup meeting with the Mayor’s office, the first of which took place a few weeks ago.

“It’s really about educating everybody involved”, Quintana says. “From getting the LGBTQIA community to report the crimes to getting law renouncement to act on the reports, to making sure there are protections in place to create a safe enviorment for everybody.

Sunday’s meeting featured Donna Harwood from Lion’s Pride Cubs, Cody Hafer from Add the Words, Idaho!, the ACLU of Idaho and others.

The event was presented as part of Exposure a.l.p.h.a. Interchange‘s “Social Justice Sunday” series.

You can report a hate crime in Boise by contacting Janet Lawler. Her number is 208 570 6224.

Outside of Boise you are encouraged to contact your local law enforcement office. You can also contact the Idaho State Police Department as well as the regional office of the FBI with any questions or concerns you might have regarding filing a hate crime report:

FBI Salt Lake City
Suite 1200, 257 Towers Bldg.
257 East, 200 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111-2048
(801) 579-1400

One Response to Boise Loves: Discussion On Recent Hate Crimes Focuses on Positive Action

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Moments from #Spirit Day 2011 « The Idaho Agenda

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