Recent beatings of South Asian refugees have prompted Denver police to hand out cellphones to newcomers from abroad, reported the Denver Post. “The hope is that the emergency-only phones, which require no payments, will help refugees reach paramedics and police to prevent future trouble,” said Scott Snow, director of the Denver police Victim Assistance Unit. A dozen refugee victims of recent attacks now carry police-issued phones. “Police are talking with a potential corporate partner to supply 50 phones,” he said. The U.S. government granted the refugees special permission to enter the country as protection from persecution in Asia. No arrests have been made in the attacks. “It’s possible it is bias-motivated,” police spokesman Lt. Ron Saunier said. Detectives “are still looking at that aspect of it.” Officers recently attended a community meeting in a basement apartment where elders and a social worker expressed worries. Police previously have issued emergency-only cellphones, giving text and voice access to 911 dispatchers, to help low-income victims of domestic violence.

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