Hate Crime Stats Cited In FBI Report a "National Problem"
League Calls on Next President and Congress to Address Hate Violence
New York, NY, October 27, 2008 … Reacting to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) annual report documenting hate crimes in America, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed concern about the "disturbing prevalence" of violent bigotry in America and called for "a renewed national commitment to prevent criminal behavior motivated by prejudice."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The FBI's annual hate crimes report provides an opportunity for a candid assessment of the state of hate in America. While we welcome the fact that reported hate crimes declined slightly in 2007, violent bigotry is still disturbingly prevalent in America, with nearly one hate crime occurring every hour of every day of the year.
Behind each one of these crime statistics is a victim, a family, a community targeted for no other reason than skin color, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin. These crimes damage the fabric of our society and fragment communities and should be seen as a national problem.
We look forward to working with the new president and the new Congress in January to promote a renewed national commitment to prevent criminal behavior motivated by prejudice.
The 2007 FBI hate crime data documented 7,624 hate crimes in 2007, a slight decrease from the 7,722 hate crimes reported in 2006.
Highlights from the FBI report include:
•For the fourth year in a row, the number of reported crimes directed against Hispanics increased – from 576 in 2006 to 595 in 2007.
•The number of hate crimes directed at gay men and lesbians increased almost 6 percent – from 1,195 in 2006 to 1,265 in 2007.
•Religion-based crimes decreased - from 1,462 in 2006 to 1,400 in 2007 - but the number of reported anti-Jewish crimes increased slightly - from 967 in 2006 to 969 in 2007.
Over 13,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States participated in this year's data collection effort, the largest number of police agencies ever. Yet, only 15.3 percent of those agencies reported even a single hate crime, while over 4,000 agencies did not participate in the reporting program at all.
ADL recommendations to address this national problem include:
•Large-scale hate crime training programs for federal, state, and local police officials;
•Funding for anti-bias hate crime prevention, education, and outreach initiatives; and
•The enactment of the long-overdue Local Law Enforcement Hate Crime Prevention Act - legislation that would permit federal authorities to provide the full range of assistance to local officials prosecuting hate crimes.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.