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caption: Kert Lin stands for a portrait on Monday, May 18, 2020, in Seattle. He was the target of anti-Asian slurs.
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Kert Lin stands for a portrait on Monday, May 18, 2020, in Seattle. He was the target of anti-Asian slurs.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

See racist harassment? Seattle Police want you to dial 911

Seattle police are urging people to report racial harassment amid a recent increase in anti-Asian bias incidents.

The Seattle Police Department arrested a man for one of the four racist incidents reported by Asian Americans this week.

“People are encountering individuals who are telling them to go back to their own country or blaming them for coronavirus,” said Elizabeth Wareing, a detective with SPD’s Bias Crimes Unit.

Seattle Police arrested a man who allegedly shouted racial slurs at people at Golden Gardens Park Saturday and approached one woman’s car as she was leaving.

“Chinese disease… they bring it here!” the man reportedly yelled.

The woman told police she believes she was targeted because of her ethnicity.

Elizabeth Wareing said most racial harassment reports involve verbal attacks but some have been physical.

“We have people being assaulted. Either people spitting on them or hitting them,” Wareing said, “and obviously that's a tremendous concern to us.”

The most important thing someone can do, Wareing said, if they witness any form of harassment is to call 9-1-1.

“A person who is actively being victimized is not going to be able oftentimes to be the one to call 911,” Wareing said, “they're not the person who has the ability to pull out a phone and make a phone call and give a description.”