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San Luis Obispo police tracking slight increase in hate crimes

Posted: 6:44 PM, Jul 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-01 23:44:12-04

San Luis Obispo police arrested Richard Orcutt this past Sunday morning after they say he sent letters stating he wanted to shoot minorities that were moving into his neighborhood.

Investigators say Orcutt, who was taken into custody at his home on Cavalier Lane, possessed more than two dozen guns along with thousands of rounds of ammunition. He faces felony charges including hate crimes.

However, hate crimes aren’t anything new in San Luis Obispo and they aren’t affecting one group in particular.

According to Lt. Bryan Amoroso, the San Luis Obispo Police Department has seen a small increase in the number of hate crimes from five cases in 2017 to seven in 2018 and it’s something they take seriously.

“We document what is called ‘hate expression,’ so something that doesn’t rise to the level of a crime but is concerning, so that we can develop documentation because frequently these incidents increase in severity to where it does become a crime,” Amoroso explained.

Morro Bay City Council Member Dawn Addis experienced nasty emails shortly after taking office.

Addis started receiving the sexist and misogynistic emails from a constituent.

When asked about the arrest of Orcutt, Addis said, “Not glad this happened in San Luis Obispo, but thankful for the processes that I know San Luis Obispo Police use because I know they are astute and aware and ready to engage as needed.”

The San Luis Obispo Police Department encourages those who think or know they’ve been a victim of a hate crime to report the incident as soon as possible.