18-year-old Mary Kristene Chapa and her girlfriend Mollie Olgin were shot in the head at a South Texas park. Chapa survived, but Olgin was killed. Many believe the shooting is a hate crime because the two young women were known to be in a same-sex relationship for months.
However, despite admitting the shooting does not appear to be a random act, Portland Police Officials are not treating the shooting as a hate crime.
According to the US Justice Department, having correct data collected from police departments across the country is vital to preventing hate crimes. If they are not addressed, “They have the potential to endanger the lives of innocent citizens.”
With members of the gay and lesbian communities across the country making headway in the fight for equal rights, it is imperative that all police departments be vigilant in treating potential hate crimes with the attention and punishment they deserve.