San Francisco Mayor Announces New Strategy to Fight Hate Crime

Undercover police officers to be deployed in areas where hate crimes have been reported or mentioned

Days after racist graffiti was found in the Bayview neighborhood and a Latina woman was harassed near Fort Mason, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced a new plan Wednesday to reduce hate crime in the city.

Lee, along with acting police Chief Toney Chaplin, other city officials and community partners, unveiled a program that will deploy undercover police officers to areas where hate crimes have been previously reported or even mentioned.

"The message is simple: San Francisco has no room for hate," Lee said in a news release. "City officials and our community partners are united and determined to root out any prejudice in our great city."

The plan takes effect immediately, Lee said, and the undercover officers are already being deployed. Officers will be stationed in various neighborhoods in an effort to deter prejudiced based crimes and, should a crime occur, to make a swift arrest.

"San Francisco police officers will be proactive in addressing prejudice-based crimes and will vigorously investigate hate crimes with the goal of arresting suspects and bringing justice and support services to victims," Chaplin said in the release.

"We think that it is too late when the actions actually happen already," Lee said. "So I think it's within a very tolerable right that we anticipate this will happen.

"We will not tolerate it; we will seek it out and eliminate it," the mayor added.

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office hate crime hotline also is up and running in multiple languages, including Arabic, city officials said. Anyone who is a victim or witness in a hate crime should call 415-551-9595.

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