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March 23, 2015

New FBI Hate Crime Training Manual Published

This week the FBI published an updated hate crime training manual. The excellent new guide is the single most important, most inclusive hate crime training resource available for law enforcement officials

DOJ sealThis version of the Bureau’s Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual  includes new definitions, training scenarios, and a special considerations section to help police officials effectively identify and report the new categories of crime mandated for collection for 2015 – including hate crimes directed at Arabs, Sikhs and Hindus. The first edition of the manual, published in early 2013, included guidance on how to define and identify gender and gender identity hate crimes, based on requirements set forth in the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act(HCPA).

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). 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.

Although the newest data from the 2013 Hate Crime Statistics Act report showed hate crimes have been declining, the numbers are still disturbingly high.  The addition of anti-Arab, anti-Sikh, and anti-Hindu hate crimes for 2015 demonstrates the Bureau’s commitment to preventing and counteracting these crimes.  After the tragic murder of six Sikh worshippers in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012, collecting data on Arab, Sikh, and Hindu victims of hate crimes became even more urgent. This updated FBI hate crime training manual is a crucial step in the work to address these crimes.

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June 18, 2013

FBI Will Collect And Report Hate Crimes Directed Against Sikhs, Arabs And Hindus

Earlier this month, an FBI Advisory Policy Board (APB) recommended that the Bureau separately collect and report hate crimes directed against Sikhs, Arabs, and Hindus as part of its annual national data collection program mandated by the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 (HCSA).  sikh-hate-crime

The Anti-Defamation League welcomed the decision. The League had supported collecting these separate categories since 2008 – and had promoted the action in an August 2012 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. and in comprehensive testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, 2012.  And, in May, the League coordinated a letter to APB members from 79 national civil rights, religious, education, civic, and professional organizations urging this action. 

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the nation witnessed an increase in attacks against Americans who appeared to be of Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and South Asian descent. The tragic bias-motivated murders of six Sikh worshippers at their Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin last August is one of the most recent examples.

Sadly, there is substantial evidence that these communities have been targeted for violence and vandalism because of their religious practices, appearance, and apparel – including distinctive beards, turbans, traditional forehead art, or head coverings.

ADL will now work with FBI and the Department of Justice to update their HCSA training manual and to work with the affected communities to provide education, training, and outreach for law enforcement officials about these crimes.

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