ADL Calls FBI Report "A Disturbing Snapshot of Hate in America",
Urges Action to Close Federal Hate Crimes Gap
Washington, D.C., October 16, 2000 … Calling the FBI's 1999 national hate
crime statistics report "a disturbing snapshot of hate in America,"
the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called for expanded bipartisan efforts to
enact pending federal hate crimes legislation. The 1999 FBI hate crime data,
collected under the mandate of the Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) of 1990,
documented 7,876 hate crimes reported by 12,122 law enforcement agencies across
the country. In 1998, the FBI reported 7,755 hate crimes from 10,461 agencies.
Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL
National Director, issued the following statement:
The FBI's 1999 hate crime statistics are a disturbing snapshot of hate in
America. The overall total of nearly 7,900 acts of vandalism and violence
directed at individuals and religious sites is deeply troubling. The FBI
figures reveal that the number of reported religion-based crimes increased
slightly from 1998 -- with nearly 80 percent of those crimes directed against
Jews and Jewish institutions. This high level of violence and vandalism
directed against Jews is another reminder that violent anti-Semitism remains a
significant problem in America.
We welcome the significant increase in 1999 in the number of law
enforcement agencies participating in the HCSA reporting program. Enactment of
the HCSA ten years ago and implementation of reporting across the country has
led to significant improvements in the response of the criminal justice system
to hate violence.
All Americans have a stake in effective response to hate violence. Congress
must do everything possible to empower the federal government to assist local
hate crime prosecutions - and, when appropriate, to permit federal authority
to investigate and prosecute cases in which the bias violence occurs because
of the victim’s sexual orientation, gender or disability. Congress must not
adjourn before enacting this important legislation.
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 education and training efforts to address this national
The League’s statement comes 10 days after Republican congressional leaders
stripped language from a pending defense bill that would have expanded current
federal hate crime statutes. That provision, the Local Law Enforcement
Enhancement Act, had been approved by substantial bipartisan majorities in the
Senate in June and in the House last month.
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.