Hate crimes continue to rise in King County and leaders look to make change

Another hate crime reported in King County this week is putting the focus on the need for change, and leaders in the county are looking to invest big dollars toward doing just that.

Court documents show on Monday, a woman was verbally attacked with threats and racial slurs by her next-door neighbor. It happened in Shoreline.

The Vietnamese-American woman was gardening her front yard, when her neighbor began yelling at her. The victim recorded the entire incident, according to court documents.

Officials with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office say this is the 11th hate crime this year in the county, and the fourth incident where the victim targeted was Asian or Pacific Islander.

"We want people to know we take these crimes very seriously," said Casey McNerthney with the county prosecuting attorney’s office.

The county takes these issues so seriously some leaders are hoping to invest more than half a million dollars toward fixing the problem.

County Councilmember Reagan Dunn and County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg are proposing spending $549,191 to go toward four positions: (2) Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys, a victim advocate, and a paralegal.

McNerthney says these positions will help to not only focus on current hate crimes but also to be proactive within King County.

"What we want to do is have a better outreach to communities and help inform people what crimes are and what they look like because it’s not always a physical attack. It could be threats, it could be harassing behavior," said McNertheny.

King County Council would have to approve the proposal. McNertheny says the goal is to take action on this proposal this year.  

An attorney for the victim in the Shoreline incident told Q13 News the family hopes their incident will bring attention to the problems of racism in our communities."