Boston Housing Authority

Policies > Civil Rights Protection Plan: Identifying a Civil Rights Incident

Civil Rights Protection Plan

Chapter 4:Identifying a Civil Rights Incident

When a BHA employee learns of an incident involving threats, harassment, violence or abuse, he/she should immediately report the incident as set forth in the Response Procedures.  The determination as to whether a civil rights incident has occurred shall be made by the Office of Civil Rights in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies.
 
Bias Indicators:   Bias indicators are certain facts and circumstances which, coupled with particular language or behavior, suggest that a potential civil rights violation has occurred. The presence of any one indicator does not necessarily mean that a civil rights violation has occurred, but rather is an indication that an Administrative Inquiry is required to make a determination.
 
Bias Motive:   Bias motive is hostility, or negative attitude toward, or prejudice against any group or individual due to race, color, national/ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or handicap, which is a factor in whole or in part, in the commission of an act. A bias motive can be implied from the presence of one or more of the following list of bias indicators. This is not an exhaustive list.
 
BIAS INDICATORS 

  • The offender and victim were of different racial, religious, ethnic/national origin, handicap, sexual orientation or gender groups.
  • Bias-related oral comments, written statements or gestures were made by the offender which indicate his/her bias.
  • Bias-related drawings, markings, symbols or graffiti were left at the scene of an incident or anywhere on or about BHA property.
  • Certain objects, items, or things which indicate bias were used or left behind by the offender(s).
  • The victim is a member of a racial, religious, ethnic/national origin, handicap, sexual orientation or gender group that is outnumbered by members of another group in the area where the victim lives and/or the incident occurred.
  • The victim was visiting a location where previous civil rights violations had been committed against other members of his/her racial, religious, ethnic/national origin, handicap, sexual orientation or gender group.
  • Victims or witnesses perceive that the incident was motivated by bias.
  • The victim was engaged in activities promoting a racial, religious, ethnic/national origin, handicap, sexual orientation or gender group.
  • The incident coincided with a holiday relating to, or a date of particular significance to a racial, religious, ethnic/national origin, handicap, sexual orientation or gender group.
  • The offender was previously involved in a similar incident or is a member of, or associates with, a hate group.
  • A historically established animosity exists between the victim’s group and the offender’s group.
  • The victim was in the company of, married to, or dating, a member of a targeted group.
  • The victim has received harassing mail or phone calls or has been the victim of verbal abuse based on his/her affiliation with a targeted group. 

The statutes listed in this policy and the BHA Lease Agreement are violated when an individual, on or about BHA property, commits or attempts to commit, or participates in the commission of an act which is motivated by a bias toward any person.  The act can be in various forms, and the above list is not intended to include every example of a civil rights violation. For example, an act may include threats, intimidation, harassment, breaking windows, damaging property, physical violence, etc.