Cites the FBI’s data on bias-related crimes in the U.S. but notes severe undercounting
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the FBI released its 2017 Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) hate crimes data which shows an increase of approximately 17 percent in hate crimes data reported by law enforcement agencies from 2016 to 2017. This is the third year in a row in which there has been an increase in reported hate crimes and is the largest increase since the 9/11 terror attacks. Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following statement in response:
“The increase in reported hate crimes is a chilling reminder that we must redouble our efforts to combat the rise in hate crimes and hate-inspired incidents across the country. We are especially concerned about hate incidents directed at African Americans and other racial minorities which reflects the toxic rhetoric and racially divisive policies that we too often see at the federal level. But even with this disturbing increase, we know that this data is incomplete. The Justice Department’s own surveys suggest that UCR data dramatically underrepresents the actual number of hate crimes experienced by community members, demonstrating that an estimated two-thirds of hate crimes are either misclassified by law enforcement or go unreported to law enforcement, leaving the full scope of bias-related crimes in America difficult to determine.
“We must work with law enforcement, prosecutors, and other officials at the front end of the criminal justice system to ensure the full and complete reporting of hate crimes and appropriately address this uptick in hate-fueled incidents. By strengthening law enforcement’s response to hate crimes, we can ensure that more communities report incidents when they occur.”
Last year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law launched a partnership with the IACP to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and communities that too often are the targets of hate crimes.
The Lawyers’ Committee’s Stop Hate Project works to support communities targeted for hate by connecting them to the resources they need. The Stop Hate Project provides training to community members on identifying hate crimes, and works in partnership with the Matthew Shepard Foundation and Civil Rights Enforcement Associates to train law enforcement and prosecutors on investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. To learn more about this important work visit www.8449nohate.org.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 55th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
Derrick Robinson, Lawyers’ Committee, [email protected], 202-662-8317