Friday, 24 November, 2017

Hate crimes down in Wisconsin

Henry Taylor Henry Taylor
Melinda Barton | 14 November, 2017, 20:45

The Anti-Defamation League has mapped the hate crime incidents that were reported in cities with populations of more than 100,000 and includes information on reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity biases.

There were 6,121 hate crimes in the US last year, up from 5,850 the year before, according to the FBI's Hate Crime Statistics, 2016.

Of those single-bias offences in 2016, almost 58 per cent were motivated by race, ethnicity or ancestry bias, while 21 per cent were driven by religious bias and about 18 per cent were caused due to bias towards sexual orientation.

"Having [a hate crime law] in our statute would allow prosecutors to seek higher penalties for hate-motivated criminal acts which have a greater effect on the safety and well-being of the public at large", Curry said in a statement". The next closest category was crimes based on religion, with 21 percent, followed by sexual orientation at 17.5 percent. Most of the crimes came in the form of intimidation, assault, or vandalism.

Singh said it will be hard for the country to mobilise political will and resources necessary to address the issue if law enforcement agencies fail to document true extent of hate crimes.

According to the data, the number of hate crimes increased for a second consecutive year, and most were "single-bias incidents". "The numbers in this report are harrowing, and we know that a majority of hate crimes go unreported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and aren't reflected in this report". "Hate crimes demand priority due to their special impact". 26 percent of the crimes were connected to bias against women, while 10 percent of the crimes were connected bias against males. "They not only hurt one victim, but they also intimidate and isolate a victim's whole community and weaken the bonds of our society". Half of those incidents were targeted at African Americans, while a further 20.5 percent were attributable to anti-white bias.

The increase reported by the FBI led some civil rights groups to call for more involvement from the federal government and state and local leaders in going after people who commit hate crimes. The letter cited examples of hate incidents, including the murder of seven transgender women of color, the February shooting targeting two Indian Hindu Americans in Kansas, and the numerous bomb threats against Jewish organizations and houses of worship, among others.