If you’re feeling harassed in Orange County, North Carolina, law enforcement has advice: Call 911, then start recording each other with your cell phone.
That’s just a few of the tips issued Nov. 18 in a harassment advisory from the Carrboro Police Department, a small town in Orange County, adjacent to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
If something about Orange County sounds familiar, you may be recalling that four weeks ago, a Republican campaign office was fire bombed there, drawing international attention to the country’s contentious presidential election. Insults targeting Republicans were also spray painted on an adjacent building.
A harassment advisory was not issued at that time, but the Carrboro Police Department apparently believes things have gotten out of hand now that the election is over and Donald Trump won. Some media outlets around the country have reported an uptick in harassment of minorities and have suggested Trump supporters are responsible. Carrboro police didn’t give specifics of any cases reported there, but instead issued tips telling people how to deal with the harassment.
“Since the presidential election, the Carrboro Police Department has received reports of possible acts of harassment,” the department says in its Nov. 18 harassment advisory.
“The Carrboro Police Department has always worked to ensure that no one in Carrboro is victimized because of their gender, religion, ethnicity, cultural heritage, sexual orientation, or for any other reason.”
Among the recommendations:
- If it is safe to do so, record or otherwise document the incident. These acts, if illegal, can be very difficult to prosecute unless evidence is documented.
- Be there for the victim. Show your support to the victim by talking to them during and after an incident until a police officer is able to arrive.
“Following these steps will help deter these situations and assist the police department in determining if criminal charges are warranted,” says the statement.
“Carrboro is an open, inclusive, and welcoming community. The Carrboro Police Department shares these values and will continue to work to ensure all residents and visitors feel safe in Carrboro.”
The department did not immediately return a call from the Observer seeking details on the alleged harassment incidents reported in the city.