EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — With the one year anniversary of the Aug. 3 mass shooting at an East El Paso Walmart approaching, a group of El Pasoans is looking for ways to prevent another tragedy from happening again.
“We think of El Paso as a very loving place because we usually are, but that doesn’t mean hate can’t invade us. I think that if there is an awareness in every community to recognize it and notify,” said Brian Kennedy, a Board Member of Stopthehate.world.
Stop The Hate.World is a website created after the Aug. 3 mass shooting. It gives people a place to report hate crimes, and soon you’ll be able to call, too.
“Putting together a hotline number, where if somebody feels that there is hate coming towards them in any shape or form, they have somebody to notify,” Kennedy said.
People in the community have different opinions on whether or not a hate crime hotline is necessary.
“There’s been reports of people even making jokes on social media websites and they’re not jokes at all. It needs to be taken seriously and there needs to be an outlet for El Pasoans that see, even if it’s a joke of hate crime there should be an outlet for El Pasoans to report that type of behavior,” El Pasoan Keighton Allen said.
However, others think dialing 911 is a better option.
“If you’re sitting there and your thinking about an 871 a seven-digit number, you know, not too many people are going to react or may not react fast enough to catch what’s going on,” El Pasoan Charles Alvardo said.
Creators of the hotline said it is meant to give people a place to report their suspicions that someone may want to commit a hate crime or hate crimes that have happened to them using the tragedy of Aug. 3 as an example.
“The question I would ask is was there a place earlier in this process where this individual could have been stopped, maybe outside of town, maybe in his home town. If you see something around you, if you see somebody that you suspect is potentially a purveyor of a hate crime, then you need to reach out to somebody,” Kennedy said.
Creators of Stop The Hate.World says the hotline will be up and running in about two weeks. The creators added that people can already report hate crimes on the web page.