When the police do not see (or want to see) bias motivation in a hate crime

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Last year in Jämsä, an accompanied white Finn threatened an asylum seeker with a knife. Even if the asylum seeker does not speak Finnish well enough, he did make out the following words: vitun pakolainen (f**king asylum seeker) and vitun ulkomaalainen (f**king foreigner).

The police did not mention the last two insults to the asylum seeker in its investigation.

For this reason, the police report to the West Finland prosecutor is only charging two men in the case with an unlawful threat (laiton uhkaus). What happened isn’t a hate crime,* according to the police.

A hate crime is always accompanied by a bias indicator that can be: comments, victim perception, organized hate groups, pattern, intense violence and specific targeting, no other obvious motive, timing, and differences between the crime and the perpetrator(s). Source: Facing Facts.

It would be interesting to ask the police officer in charge of the case why bias motivation was not considered.

Getting justice in a hate crime case is sometimes something better said than done in Finland.

*The Criminal Code of Finland does not recognize the term “hate crime.” Section 5 states that a basis for increasing punishment (564/2015) is if the “offense for a motive based on race, skin color, birth status, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation or disability or another corresponding grounds.”

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