SAN MARCOS, Calif. -- A number of organizations, including the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California, staged a forum Wednesday at California State University San Marcos to educate and empower the public on ways to report and fight hate crimes.
Several people took the opportunity to speak at the event, some recalling hate crimes they have experienced. Among the speakers was Yusef Miller, whose place of worship, the Islamic Center of North County, was allegedly firebombed by the same man charged with the attack on a synagogue in Poway in April.
"The numbers definitely show there are more hate crime incidents," Chair of the San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition Chris Tenorio said. "What we're trying to do is get people to reduce what the precursors are so they'll report them more often."
Both Tenorio and U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer stressed the importance of reporting hate crimes or threats and unusual activity to police. "If you see a hate crime occurring or about to occur, dial 9-1-1 -- speak out, stand against hate and violence," Brewer said.