The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations (KCTFHR), led by former North Idaho College instructor Tony Stewart, has ponied up $1,000 to help combat a rash of hate crimes in the Coeur D'Alene area. The group is also calling on other individuals and organizations to join them in donating money to the effort.
In a statement released Wednesday, Stewart said the organization, whose mission is to "support victims of malicious harassment and hate crimes," will work with Crime Stoppers of the Pacific Northwest to encourage those with information about the recent crimes to step forward.
Stewart said that organizations or individuals that decide to donate money to the effort will not be asked to pay that money "until and if an informant's tip leads to the solution of a hate crime."
Marshall Mend, who serves on the KCTFHR board of directors with Stewart, believes larger amounts of money could show community unity against hate crimes.
"We will inform Crime Stoppers of this growing fund and we shall send a message that the people of ... the Inland Northwest will never tolerate hate crimes or malicious harassment of our citizens," said Mend.
According to reports, the Inland Northwest has experienced the perpetration of seven hate crimes since May of 2009.
Anyone wishing to donate to the effort can call KCTFHR at 208-765-3932. Anyone with information about any of the hate-crimes can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit their website by clicking here.
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.