Seattle police say call ‘911’ if you hear a racist insult during coronavirus pandemic

(Paul Christian Gordon/ZUMA Press/Newscom)

Even as the intensifying coronavirus pandemic poses new challenges to law enforcement nationwide and even around the world, Seattle’s police chief is warning humanity of the greatest danger of all: “racist name-calling.”

In her “Covid-19 Response,” Police Chief Carmen Best says she wants cops to investigate reports of “hate, including racist name calling, to 911,” according to the Washington Times.

Because 911 operators have nothing else to contend with.

“We will document and investigate every reported hate crime,” said Chief Best in a video on Twitter. “Even racist name-calling should be reported to the police. We take this information very seriously.”

She added, “If you aren’t sure if a hate crime occurred, call 911. We are here to help, and will respond to investigate.”

The warning comes as Asian-American advocacy groups report a spike in race-based discrimination, including “verbal harassment, shunning and physical assault,” spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, China.

Best did not make clear what kind of behavior would constitute “shunning.”

“It’s a time-wasting imperative—and one that’s at odds with the First Amendment,” said Reason’s Robby Soave, adding that it “does not inspire confidence when Seattle’s top law enforcement authority uses her platform to blur the important distinction between hate crimes and hateful speech.”


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