Philadelphia District Attorney, City Solicitor and Police Commissioner Release Statement on Prosecution of Hate Crimes


PHILADELPHIA (November 21, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams, City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante and Police Commissioner Richard Ross today issued the following statement about their continued commitment to vigorously prosecuting hate crimes in the City of Philadelphia:

“Philadelphia is called the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, and we are, thanks to our many differences, stronger together and benefit every day from our collective diversity.

“Today, we remind the men and women of Philadelphia that our offices will continue to prosecute any and all hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office will continue to work seamlessly with the Philadelphia Police Department, the City of Philadelphia and the community; and the District Attorney has specially assigned a dedicated Assistant District Attorney in each of the six geographic zones that make up the DA’s office to vigorously prosecute any hate crime.

“Additionally, during this time of collective unrest, we also remind Philadelphians that violence or damage of property will not be tolerated. As the Mayor expressed recently, regardless of whether these actions are committed in the name of the President-elect or in opposition to him, they have no place in the City of Philadelphia.”

Please report all crimes involving instances of ethnic intimidation to the Philadelphia Police Department by calling 911. You should also report it to the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) at 215-686-4670 or  The PCHR also has an anonymous hotline at 215-686-2856.

Since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not have specific hate crime statute, the DA’s office could charge individuals under Title 18 § 2710, Ethnic Intimidation. Ethnic intimidation is defined as any offense of ethnic intimidation “…with malicious intention toward the race, color, religion or national origin of another individual or group of individuals.” A single offense under this section shall be classified as a misdemeanor of the third degree.