The FBI released updated statistics on Monday showing a spike in hate crimes between 2020 and 2021. However, the data is far from complete and the actual numbers are likely to be higher because police departments across the country aren't reporting data on hate crimes.
According to the bureau, it was not able to gather accurate hate crime statistics in December because multiple police departments nationwide, including New York City and multiple cities in California, had not submitted data to the updated and improved national reporting system.
State and local data supplemented the new numbers showing an increase in hate crimes from 8,120 in 2020 to 9,065 in 2021. According to Justice Department officials, the additional data presents a much more accurate picture of overall trends than the December report.
“Hate crimes and the devastation they cause communities have no place in this country,” said Vanita Gupta, the Assistant Attorney General who works to improve hate crime reporting. The department, she added, “is committed to using every tool and resource at our disposal to combat bias-motivated violence in all its forms.”
Ms. Gupta pressed for a better accounting of hate crimes after the release of the report in December, which actually showed a slight decline in hate crimes between 2020 and 2021. On Monday, she promised to help local departments that have struggled to adjust to the enhanced reporting requirements of the new National Incident-Based Reporting System, which came online in 2021.
The F.B.I. reports that in 64 percent of cases reported, prejudice based on race or ethnicity motivated the hate crime, while 16 percent of crimes reported were motivated by a person's sexual orientation, and 14 percent were motivated by religion.
Even though the bureau's numbers are sobering, they are probably an underestimate, said Brian Levin, the director of California State University, San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, which monitors hate crimes independently.
“We’re in a new era of multiyear elevated and record-breaking historic levels,” Mr. Levin said.
Levin's group has compiled estimates for 2022 based on data from 20 American cities. Among the reported incidents, 21 percent were attacks on Black people, 16 percent on Jews, and 12 percent on gay men. There was about 8 percent of attacks against Asians, whites, and Latinos each.
Is it a surprise that American law enforcement is turning a blind eye to the actual frequency of hate crimes in this country by underreporting the actual numbers?
Source: The New York Times