The Bias Crime Network is a collaborative effort between the Eden Prairie Police Department and the Human Rights and Diversity Commission.
It was established as a support network for residents who feel they have been discriminated against or have been victims of bias crimes. When an incident is reported to the Police Department, the Commission is notified (names are usually anonymous) and takes action.
Certain crimes are called crimes of bias when they are committed against a person or group because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or national origin.
Bias crimes allow for penalty enhancement for criminal acts, such as assault, criminal trespass, criminal damage to property, harassment or stalking. For these crimes, hate motivation may be considered by the court as reason to impose a more severe sentence.
Examples of Bias Crimes
- Cross burning
- Vandalism to a place of worship or cemetery
- Attack on an individual
If you believe you are a victim of a crime of bias, immediately report the incident to the Police Department.
Bias Crime Prevention
The bigotry, fear, distrust and hatred associated with bias crimes are learned at an early age. Here is how you can help:
- Speak out and teach your children to value differences of people
- Become involved with your schools, community groups and law enforcement to make your neighborhood a safe place for all people
- Participate in community-sponsored diversity events and activities, and encourage others to do the same
- Volunteer to participate with Eden Prairie's Bias Crime Network to support victims
- Report all suspected crimes of bias
The law states that people cannot be treated differently because of certain personal characteristics with regard to credit, employment, housing, public accommodations and services, or education.
If you believe you are a victim of discrimination, contact the Human Rights and Diversity Commission staff liaison or Minnesota Department of Human Rights, who can advise you on available options for dealing with the situation. There is no charge for these services.