Clark County sheriff and prosecutor voice opinions on hate in joint statement
VANCOUVER — With hate crimes and hate speech hot button issues across the nation, Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins and Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik saw a need to restate their convictions.
Atkins and Tony Golik signed a, “Joint Statement on Hate,” Wednesday at the Public Service Center in Vancouver.
The statement, which was posted to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, was intended to reiterate what CCSO and the Attorney’s Office already believe Atkins said.
“It’s really no different than what we’ve been doing, and what we believed anyway,” Sheriff Atkins said. “But the community does need to continuously hear it.”
In the statement, Sheriff Atkins and Prosecutor Golik “reject hate, bigotry, harassment, violence or the inciting of violence, and all actions intended to harm or intimidate others based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, or any other attribute which serves to marginalize people or groups of people.”
Community response via Facebook has been overall, quite positive, however, some have said the statement is ambiguous with regard to how immigration laws will be enforced.
Sheriff Atkins says the statement is really about connecting with groups that would otherwise not seek out the support of law enforcement.
“Different groups feel alienated, or confronted and they may not want to directly come to us,” Sheriff Atkins said. “But we want to go to them and say, ‘Hey, this is who we are.’”
A copy of the statement will hang in multiple law enforcement buildings across the county.