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Press ReleaseHate Crimes
ADL Calls FBI Report "A Disturbing Snapshot of Hate in America "Urges Action to Close Federal Hate Crimes Gap

Washington, D.C., February 13, 2001... 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 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.

Glen A. Tobias, 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 act to permit federal authorities to act in those circumstances where state and local officials cannot or will not prosecute these crimes.

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 problem.

In the last Congress, bipartisan majorities in the Senate and House approved separate versions of legislation expanding the existing federal hate crime authority. That legislation, the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, was dropped in the final days of the session at the insistence of the congressional Republican leadership.

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.

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