Bill would require Utah police officers to train on responding to hate crimes

Feb 9, 2022, 11:35 AM
Rep. Karen Kwan is presenting a bill to educate police officers on how to handle reports of hate cr...
House Minority Whip Karen Kwan, D-Murray, speaks at a press conference outlining the Democrats’ legislative priorities for the year at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Day 3 of the Utah  legislative session, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill on Utah’s Capitol Hill would require police officers to be trained to identify and respond to hate crimes. 

House Minority Whip Karen Kwan, D-Murray, told the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee that there has been an increase in violence targeting people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage in recent years. 

“It’s actually an increase starting from the pandemic,” Kwan said. “And we saw quite a bit of anti-Asian violence in the nation related to misconceptions and stereotypes about where the virus came from.” 

Kwan said her bill would try to address that increase in hate crimes. It would also bring Utah in line with federal standards.

Hate crimes have been increasing, and underreported

Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, told the same committee there is also an issue with underreporting race-based crimes in Utah. 

“Not only from a law enforcement perspective not recognizing it as a hate crime, but people don’t report it as a hate crime because there is this disconnection that’s going on with our community,” Hollins said. 

Nate Mutter, the assistant chief investigator at the Utah Attorney General’s Office, spoke in support of the proposal. 

“When we’re teaching our officers about things like theft, vandalism, assault and those types of crimes, it’s good to teach them to look a little deeper,” Mutter said. “Vandalism may not just be vandalism. And assault may not just be assault.” 

The bill received overwhelming support from the committee and now moves on to the full House.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

The Goonies House...
Taylor Romine and Ralph Ellis, CNN

Man wanted for leaving a dead fish at ‘The Goonies’ house saved by Coast Guard in daring rescue

A man wanted by police in an incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a Coast Guard rescue when he was tossed from a stolen boat as it capsized, authorities said.
1 day ago
SLCPD said the driver is fully cooperating with the investigation and the children received non-lif...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD makes arrest connected to fatal stabbing case

SLCPD announced the arrest of 26-year-old Ivy Chase Grant today. Grant was booked into Salt Lake County Metro Jail on a charge of obstruction of justice. 
1 day ago
Salt Lake City Police say three sticks of dynamite were safely removed from a house this week by it...
Mark Jones

Three sticks of dynamite removed from Salt Lake City home

Three sticks of dynamite were removed from a Salt Lake City home on Wednesday, the SLCPD announced. The dynamite have been seized for investigation.
2 days ago
Britt Johnson

Utah County men facing charges for defrauding the United States

The claims state that Zachary Bassett and Mason Warr used a fraudulent tax scheme to receive COVID-19-related relief funds.
2 days ago
Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, sponsor of HB297 Victim Services Amendments, poses for a portrait at...
Katie McKellar, Deseret News

A Utah lawmaker and her sister at odds: Should rape victims need to contact police before getting an abortion?

Rep. Kera Birkeland says her bill focuses on rape victim services and holding rapists accountable. But her sister, a rape survivor, says it strips away choices.
2 days ago
On Jan. 31, 2023, a missing Arizona girl was found and rescued from the basement of a registered se...
Elizabeth Weiler

Missing girl from Arizona found in West Valley basement

On Jan. 31, 2023, a missing Arizona girl was found and rescued from the basement of a registered sex offender. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Bill would require Utah police officers to train on responding to hate crimes