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DC Values In Action: Resources and Response Teams Addressing Bias-related Crimes and Discrimination

Washington, DC is an inclusive, diverse community and together we can prevent, investigate and redress acts of discrimination, hatred, and hate-based crime. Many agencies stand ready to help build a culture where all persons feel and are safe. This resource guide should help everyone find the help they need, depending on the situation.

The Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants

The DC Victim Hotline provides free, confidential, around-the-clock information, support, and referrals for victims of ALL CRIME in the District of Columbia. Victim Assistance Specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted in three ways:

Metropolitan Police Department Resources and Policies

To report a crime in progress or that has recently occurred, always call 911.

Do not hesitate to call 911 if you feel concerned for your safety, even if you do not know whether a crime has been committed.

Reports can also be made by:

  • Calling or visiting a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) district station; or
  • Calling the Hate Crimes Hotline at (202) 727-0500. Callers may report incidents anonymously. If you leave a contact number, someone will return the call the next business day.

Please note that there is no specific “hate crime” category. Rather, a crime may be motivated by a bias against a protected class. The underlying incident must actually be a crime. For instance, since most speech is constitutionally protected, most speech – no matter how hateful – cannot be considered a hate crime.

Responding officers must note on a report whether there are indicators of possible bias for a crime. Crimes will be investigated by detectives and reviewed to determine whether an allegation of bias is supported. The designation can be changed at any point as an investigation proceeds and more information is gathered.

A designation as a hate crime by MPD does not mean that prosecutors will prosecute it as a hate crime. If an individual is convicted of a hate crime, the judge may impose a sentence of up to 1.5 times the maximum term of imprisonment or 1.5 times the maximum fine.

For additional information about victim resources or community support, please contact one of MPD’s Special Liaison Units:

  • Asian Liaison Unit – 202-724-8009
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Liaison Unit – 202-553-7874
  • Latino Liaison Unit – 202-498-9829
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Liaison Unit – 202-506-0714
  • TTY – 202-347-8164
  • DHHLU Video Relay Service – 202-559-5394

For complaints of discrimination that lead to a denial of employment, housing, educational services or other public accommodation please see information regarding OHR below.

MPD Policy Regarding Immigration Status of Residents

MPD Officers will not ask about citizenship or residency status. The Metropolitan Police Department has a longstanding policy that strictly prohibits officers from demanding citizenship or residency status as a way of determining whether an individual has violated immigration laws. This means that you should feel comfortable calling 911, approaching an MPD police officer, or reporting a crime. We know that by separating policing and immigration, we keep all DC residents safer.

Complaints of Discrimination in Employment, Housing, Education or Access to Public Accommodations

The DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) is a District government agency that mediates and investigates complaints of discrimination, and works to prevent discrimination from occurring. Our complaint process is cost-free and does not require an attorney.

  • To file a discrimination complaint, visit ohr.dc.gov or file in person at 441 4th Street NW, Suite 570 North.
  • Additional resources include information on protected traits covered under our local human rights law, language access, and bullying prevention in District schools
  • For other inquiries call 202-727-4559, or email [email protected]

Resources for Faith Based Institutions

The Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs (MORA) is available to reach out to those who are the target of hate based on religion or religious beliefs.

For support or more information, visit ora.dc.gov, email MORA Director Rev. Thomas Bowen at [email protected] or call (202) 442-8122, TTY: 711.

LGBT Community Resources

The Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Affairs (MOLGBTQ) addresses the important concerns of the District's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents. The District of Columbia has one of the highest concentrations of LGBTQ residents in the country with an estimated 7 to 10% of the population being LGBTQ.

  • For support or more information, visit lgbtq.dc.gov or email MOLGBTQ Director Sheila Alexander-Reid at [email protected] or call (202) 727-9493, TTY: (202) 727-9493

Resources for Foreign-born/Immigrants

The following Constituency Offices can assist in information distribution and convening of populations that may feel vulnerable during this time.

Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (MOLA)
Jackie Reyes, Director
2000 14th Street, NW, 2nd Floor,
Washington, DC 20009
Main: (202) 671-2825
Direct: (202) 671-1896
Fax: (202) 673-4557
TTY: (202) 671-2825
www.ola.dc.gov
Facebook.com/olagovdc
Twitter.com/olagovdc

Mayor’s Office on Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA)
David Do, Director
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 721
North, Washington, DC 20001
Main: (202) 727-3120
Direct: (202)727-7984
Fax: (202) 727-9655
TTY: 711
www.apia.dc.gov
Facebook.com/dcmoapia
Instagram.com/dcmoapia
Twitter.com/dcmoapia

Mayor’s Office on African Affairs (MOAA)
Mamadou Samba, Director
2000 14th Street, NW, Suite 401,
Washington, DC 20009
Main: (202) 727-5634
Direct: (202) 727-1754
Fax: (202) 727-2357
TTY: 711
www.oaa.dc.gov
Twitter.com/dcmayoroaa
Instagram.com/dcmayoroaa

For other community engagement needs and/or constituent concerns/requests for the Ward Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services (MOCRS) please contact:

Tommie Jones, Director
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 332,
Washington, DC 20004
Main: (202) 442-8150
Direct: (202)-442-8119
TTY: 711
www.mocrs.dc.gov
Facebook.com/dcmocrs
Twitter.com/dcmocrs

School Related Incidents

The Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) is responsible for developing and implementing the Mayor's vision for academic excellence and creating a high quality education continuum from birth to 24 (from early childhood to K-12 to post-secondary and the workforce). DME has released protocols and advice for Keeping School Safe for All Students.

  • DCPS and our DC public charter schools welcome schoolchildren and their families, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status. If a federal immigration or ICE official requests student information, attempts to enter a building or detain a student or family member, seek immediate guidance.
  • For other school-based incidents involving bias or a possible hate crime, see information about Bullying Prevention in Schools below.

Bullying Prevention in Schools

The District’s Youth Bullying Prevention Program (YBPP) actively works with school administrators and families to help address and provide support services to all those involved. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that causes significant harm to the target and involves a real or perceived power imbalance.

To report an incident contact Suzanne Greenfield at (202) 834-6376 or email [email protected].

Additional resources include What You Need to Know About Bullying and Bullying Prevention & Intervention in DC Educational Institutions Training Toolkit.

For more information, visit ohr.dc.gov/bullying prevention.

Hate or Bias- based Graffiti

If hate based graffiti occurs, call the Mayor’s citywide call center at 311 to report it, or report it on the 311 app. A team will be out promptly to clean it up.