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October 28, 2013 1

Matthew Shepard And James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act Four Years Later: Demonstrating Its Value

This week marks the fourth anniver­sary of the sign­ing of the Matthew Shep­ard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Pre­ven­tion Act (HCPA).  The HCPA is the most impor­tant, com­pre­hen­sive, and inclu­sive hate crime enforce­ment law enacted in the past 40 years. In addi­tion, pas­sage of the act has sparked a wel­come round of police train­ing and out­reach – and the devel­op­ment of a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant new hate crime train­ing and pre­ven­tion resources. hate-crimes-prevention-act-HCPA

It is appro­pri­ate to pause to reflect on the extra­or­di­nar­ily broad coali­tion ADL was priv­i­leged to lead in sup­port the HCPA – includ­ing over 250 civil rights, edu­ca­tion, reli­gious, civic, and pro­fes­sional orga­ni­za­tions and, cru­cially, vir­tu­ally every major law enforce­ment orga­ni­za­tion in the coun­try. Orig­i­nally drafted in 1996, progress on the bill was stalled, Con­gress after Con­gress, because of per­sis­tent, adamant – and erro­neous – con­cerns about the impact of the bill’s cov­er­age of hate crimes directed at indi­vid­u­als because of their sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. In the end, even after 13 long years of advo­cacy, with the strong sup­port of Pres­i­dent Obama and Attor­ney Gen­eral Holder, the mea­sure still had to be attached to “must-pass” leg­is­la­tion – the Depart­ment of Defense FY 2010 Autho­riza­tion bill – in order to be enacted into law.

But now, four years later, advo­cates can­not doubt that the titanic efforts to enact the HCPA by Sen­ate and House cham­pi­ons and the hate crime coali­tion were worth­while. Here are high­lights of some of the impor­tant advances since the enact­ment of the HCPA, Pub­lic Law 111–84.

­Train­ing

  • Lawyers from the Depart­ment of Jus­tice (DoJ) Civil Rights Divi­sion, FBI agents, and pro­fes­sion­als from DoJ’s Com­mu­nity Rela­tions Ser­vice have trained thou­sands of state and local law enforce­ment offi­cials from more than a dozen states on the HCPA’s new tools and federal-state part­ner­ship opportunities.  

Enforce­ment

  • DoJ has inves­ti­gated dozens of cases and has brought indict­ments in about 20 cases, includ­ing sev­eral cases in states that lack their own hate crime laws.    
  • Under the expanded author­ity of the HCPA, Jus­tice Depart­ment lawyers have pro­vided foren­sic and other inves­tiga­tive assis­tance to state and local law enforce­ment offi­cials pros­e­cut­ing cases under their state laws. 
  • In coor­di­na­tion with sev­eral lead US Attor­neys, DoJ has vig­or­ously defended the HCPA in both facial and as applied con­sti­tu­tional challenges. 

Hate Crime Data Collection

Resources

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January 30, 2013 0

New FBI Hate Crime Training Manual Published

The FBI has pub­lished an excel­lent new hate crime train­ing man­ual – the sin­gle best, most inclu­sive hate crime guide now available.

The enact­ment of the Matthew Shep­ard James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Pre­ven­tion Act (HCPA) in 2009 prompted the need to revise and update the Bureau’s pre­vi­ous online FBI hate crime data col­lec­tion guid­ance, since the HCPA included the new require­ment that the Bureau col­lect data on hate crimes directed against indi­vid­u­als on the basis of their gen­der or gen­der iden­tity – and crimes com­mit­ted by and against juveniles.

The new 64-page FBI guide, Hate Crime Data Col­lec­tion Guide­lines and Train­ing Man­ual, con­tains updated def­i­n­i­tions and a num­ber of hate crime train­ing sce­nar­ios, includ­ing ones designed to help law enforce­ment offi­cials under­stand gender-based and gen­der identity-based hate crimes.   

The FBI has been track­ing and doc­u­ment­ing hate crimes reported from fed­eral, state, and local law enforce­ment offi­cials, since 1991 under the Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics Act of 1990 (HCSA). Though clearly incom­plete, the Bureau’s annual HCSA reports pro­vide the best sin­gle national snap­shot of bias-motivated crim­i­nal activ­ity in the United States. The Act has also proven to be a pow­er­ful mech­a­nism to con­front vio­lent big­otry, increas­ing pub­lic aware­ness of the prob­lem and spark­ing improve­ments in the local response of the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem to hate vio­lence – since in order to effec­tively report hate crimes, police offi­cials must be trained to iden­tify and respond to them.

The FBI’s 2011 Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics Act report, showed a wel­come decline in the over­all num­ber of hate crimes in the United States, but sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns remain, as high­lighted in the ADL analy­sis of the report.

Since the tragic mur­der of six Sikh wor­ship­pers at their Gur­d­wara in Oak Creek, Wis­con­sin on August 5, the League has been work­ing with a broad coali­tion of civil rights, reli­gious, and law enforce­ment orga­ni­za­tions to expand the HCSA cat­e­gories to include hate crimes directed against Sikhs, Hin­dus, and Arabs.  ADL also sent a let­ter to Attor­ney Gen­eral Eric H. Holder, Jr. urg­ing him to sup­port these addi­tional cat­e­gories.  Jus­tice Depart­ment offi­cials are sup­port­ing this new data col­lec­tion man­date, as well

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December 10, 2012 2

ADL Reacts to Release of 2011 FBI Hate Crime Report

A syn­a­gogue in Danville, Vir­ginia, was van­dal­ized in July 2011

The FBI’s 2011 Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics Act report, released today, shows a wel­come decline in the over­all num­ber of hate crimes in the United States, but sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns remain.

First, it is clear that 6,222 hate crimes – almost one every 90 min­utes of every day – is too many.  And sec­ond, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of large city law enforce­ment agen­cies either did not par­tic­i­pate or reported zero hate crimes, which, in some cir­cum­stances, seems highly unlikely.  The FBI report is avail­able here:  http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2011.

The FBI has been col­lect­ing hate crime reports  from  law enforce­ment offi­cials since 1991 under the Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics Act of 1990 (HCSA).  Though clearly incom­plete, the Bureau’s annual HCSA reports pro­vide the best sin­gle national snap­shot of bias-motivated crim­i­nal activ­ity in the United States.

Here are high­lights of the 2011 FBI HCSA report:

  • Reported hate crime inci­dents decreased six per­cent from 2010 lev­els, from 6.628 to 6.222 — the low­est num­ber of reported hate crime since 1994.
  • Crimes directed against indi­vid­u­als because of race, reli­gion, and national ori­gin all decreased, but crimes based on sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion increased slightly.    Sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion hate crimes now con­sti­tute the sec­ond most fre­quent type of hate crimes, after race-based crimes.
  • Religion-based crimes decreased, from 1,322 in 2010 to 1,233 in 2011, with reported anti-Jewish crimes decreas­ing from 887 in 2010 to 771 in 2011.  How­ever, a very dis­turb­ing 63 per­cent of the reported religion-based crimes in 2011 were directed against Jews and Jew­ish insti­tu­tions – con­sis­tent with data over the past decade.  Reported crimes against Mus­lims decreased slightly, from 160 in 2010 to 157 in 2011.

Com­ple­ment­ing the national data, the annual HCSA report has become an impor­tant mea­sure of account­abil­ity about how cities and towns and their law enforce­ment agen­cies are pre­pared to address hate vio­lence.   Only 14,575 out of the approx­i­mately 18,000 law enforce­ment agen­cies in the United States par­tic­i­pated in the 2011 data col­lec­tion effort – and only 1,944 of these par­tic­i­pat­ing agen­cies (13 per­cent) – reported even a sin­gle hate crime to the FBI.   At least 79 cities over 100,000 in pop­u­la­tion either did not par­tic­i­pate in the HCSA pro­gram at all, or affir­ma­tively reported to the Bureau that they had zero (0) hate crimes.

Law enforce­ment agen­cies must demon­strate that they are ready and will­ing to respond to hate vio­lence when it occurs – and we will be work­ing with coali­tion allies and fed­eral and state offi­cials to spark nec­es­sary improve­ments in report­ing and response to this national problem.

Since the tragic mur­der of six Sikh wor­ship­pers at their Gur­d­wara in Oak Creek, Wis­con­sin on August 5, the League has been work­ing with a broad coali­tion of civil rights, reli­gious, and law enforce­ment orga­ni­za­tions to expand the HCSA cat­e­gories to include hate crimes directed against Sikhs, Hin­dus, and Arabs.  ADL also sent a let­ter to Attor­ney Gen­eral Eric H. Holder, Jr. urg­ing him to sup­port these addi­tional categories.

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