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Oregon Law Enforcement Agencies Want People To Report Hate-Related Activity

<p>Tom Garing cleans up racist graffiti painted on the side of a mosque in what officials are calling an apparent hate crime, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Roseville, Calif. The Tarbiya Institute was spray-painted with a dozen obscene and racist slurs, including "Muslim out." Garing, a retiree who lives in the area and is not a member of the mosque, volunteered to help clean up.\</p>

Rich Pedroncelli

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Tom Garing cleans up racist graffiti painted on the side of a mosque in what officials are calling an apparent hate crime, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Roseville, Calif. The Tarbiya Institute was spray-painted with a dozen obscene and racist slurs, including "Muslim out." Garing, a retiree who lives in the area and is not a member of the mosque, volunteered to help clean up.\

Police bureaus across the state are encouraging people who’ve witnessed or experienced hate crimes to report them.

The U.S. attorney's office in Oregon issued the request saying there’s been an increase in perceived hate-related activities across the Portland metro Area.

The investigative journalism website ProPublica recently found that Oregon leads the nation in documented hate crimes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center also lists dozens of hate incidents in Oregon over the last decade including assault, intimidation and murder.

Officials with the U.S. attorney’s office say reports are causing many people to fear for their safety.

A hate crime occurs when somebody subjects another person to offensive physical contact or injury — or damages their property — because of their race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.