The Scottsdale Police Department is investigating an incident in Old Town near Scottsdale Road and Main Street on Feb. 7 that has been seen on multiple social media platforms. The video clips depict a man, identified as Gilbert Ortega, having an exchange of words between multiple parties in front of a business.
On Feb. 7 around 11:30 a.m., a group was performing near Scottsdale Road and Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale as part of an event celebration. It is reported that Ortega began yelling at the performers causing a disturbance. After an investigation into the incident, the Scottsdale Police Department submitted charges against Ortega for three counts of disorderly conduct, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The crime of disorderly conduct does not qualify for a hate crime designation based on the FBI definition.
There are very prescriptive requirements for classifying a crime as a Hate Crime by the FBI as part of the Uniformed Crime Reporting Program. The Arizona Crime Statistics Dashboard describes a “hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Said differently, there is no specific offense of “hate crime” in Arizona, rather, a hate crime designator can be added to another criminal offense if it can be determined that the crime was motivated by race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.
We encourage our citizens and visitors to report crimes of all types. For all emergencies call 911 and non-emergencies at 480-312-5000.
City of Scottsdale statement:
Scottsdale prides itself as a welcoming community for all people. We are sad that this incident occurred and offer our full support to those who were targeted. The city condemns this individual's racist comments - they do not represent our community.