AG Healey launches harassment hotline in wake of Trump win

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BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey has set up a 1-800 hotline which citizens, especially minorities, can call to report instances of harassment or alleged hate crimes, a direct response to last week’s presidential election of Republican Donald Trump.

The hotline, according to Healey’s office, is designed to act as a tool to help residents defend their basic civil rights.

“They should take comfort in knowing that the attorney general’s office will look into any reported incidents and take action, where appropriate, with our partners in law enforcement,” Healey told reporters at a press conference.

Healey added that her job as attorney general is “not to wait for things to happen” but to “make sure people know that here in the state of Massachusetts that their rights will be protected.”

“I want residents around the state to know they have a place where they can report incidents,” said Healey.

Residents can call 1-800-994-3228 or fill out civil rights complaints online. Healey said the creation of a hotline is the first of its kind in Massachusetts.

“I think it’s undeniable across the country after what has been a pretty divisive election, there was a lot of emotion in the wake of the results of that election, it might have happened no matter which way the election might have gone,” Healey noted.

The new website reminds visitors, however, that not all incidents are prosecutable offenses.

“It is important to know that hateful and offensive speech or symbols, standing alone, do not necessarily violate the law,” the website notes. “Rather, the law prohibits certain kinds of physical or verbal conduct.”