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SLOPD hosts community discussion on hate crimes

Posted: 10:56 PM, Jul 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-10 11:29:13-04

The San Luis Obispo Police Department hosted a meeting on Tuesday to talk about recent hate crimes and hate speech incidents in the city.

Local police officers held the meeting to educate the community on the differences of hate crime and hate expression. They also provided information about the judicial process.

At the meeting, officers discussed the breadth of the First Amendment. They explained how some actions are protected by the first amendment, therefore they are not considered a crime.

The meeting comes a little more than a week after San Luis Obispo police arrested Richard Orcutt, who detectives say sent letters to neighbors claiming he was going to shoot them.

“There is a lot of fear right now given what happened and some of the threats that were made against some of our marginalized minority communities,” said Chief of Police Deana Cantrell, “so this is to hopefully educate and quell some of those fears.”

San Luis Obispo police say they believe there have been more instances involving Richard Orcutt over the past few years.

Officers said they hope this meeting will help community members better understand hate crimes and know when to come forward if they believe they have been a victim.

Related:

SLO man facing hate crimes used Hallmark cards to send threats

San Luis Obispo police tracking slight increase in hate crimes