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2019 FBI Data Undercounts Hate Crimes

WASHINGTON - On Monday, the FBI released its annual report on hate crime statistics for 2019. The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Public Advocacy Director Scott Simpson:

“The FBI’s hate crime data for 2019 shows that far too many families and communities were targeted by hate last year. According to the agency, 2019 saw more hate crimes than any year since 2008. It’s clear that hate crimes are continuing to rise but due to incomplete data, we still know next to nothing about the full scope of the problem.

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The shocking truth about the FBI’s data is that it only represents the smallest sliver of  hate crimes in this country. Law enforcement agencies, for example, do not have to report hate crimes to the government and many hate crime victims never make a report in the first place for a whole host of reasons. 

Congress can and should do more to ensure that all hate crimes are reported and documented. One way to help accomplish that is to pass the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act, which would improve hate crime reporting and data collection, particularly at the state level. Additionally, the four remaining states without a meaningful hate crime law on the books need to pass strong legislation that bolsters hate crime reports and brings needed justice to victims.”

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Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination. 

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