New York, N.Y., November 25, 2002 … Calling the FBI's 2001 national hate crime statistics report "a deeply troubling snapshot of hate in America," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called for increased education and training for police agencies and bipartisan efforts to expand federal authority to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.
The 2001 FBI hate crime data, released today and collected under the mandate of the 1990 Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA), documented 9,730 hate crimes reported by almost 12,000 police agencies across the country - an almost 21 percent increase in reported hate crimes over the 8,063 hate crimes reported by the 2000 FBI HCSA. The number of acts of vandalism and violence, directed at individuals and religious sites, is the largest total in the 11- year history of the collection effort.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement in response to the findings:
The FBI's 2001 hate crime statistics are a deeply troubling snapshot of hate in America. To learn that this is the largest total in the 11-year history of the collection effort - with almost 1,000 more crimes reported than ever before - shows a need for expanded education and training for law enforcement. The report also documents the number of reported religion-based crimes increased slightly from 2000 - with nearly 60 percent of those crimes directed against Jews and Jewish institutions.
When Congress returns in January it must act to permit federal authorities to provide the full range of assistance to local officials prosecuting hate crimes and to expand federal authority to investigate and prosecute hate crimes in those circumstances where state and local officials cannot or will not go themselves.
These unsettling national hate crime statistics do not speak to the whole picture - because behind the numbers are individuals and communities deeply impacted by these crimes. We call on law enforcement officials to increase their hate crime education and training initiatives - as well as their outreach to affected communities.
According to the report, a significant portion of the 2001 increase in reported hate crimes appears to be attributable to "backlash" incidents directed at Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, Sikhs, and others perceived to be of Middle Eastern descent in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Reported "anti-Islamic" crimes increased from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001, and the number of hate crimes directed at individuals on the basis of their national origin/ethnicity doubled -- from 911 in 2000 to 2,098 in 2001.
ADL will continue to take a leadership role in crafting effective programming to address prejudice and bigotry and will continue to promote bipartisan support for expanded federal jurisdiction to address this national problem.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information about law enforcement training log onto www.adl.org/LEARN. For more information on hate crimes statutes log onto www.partneragainsthate.com.