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Attorney General Josh Stein Calls on Congress to Help Fight Hate Crimes

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

Urges the Passage of the No Hate Act

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged Congress to pass the bipartisan Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act, which would help fight hate crimes.

“The rise in hate crimes across our country in the past few years is devastating,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “No one should have to live in fear because of who they are. If we’re going to successfully fight the violence that hateful rhetoric spawns, we need the tools necessary to get the job done. I urge Congress to pass this bill, which will help us find better ways to support our communities and stand up against hate.”

The legislation specifically aims to help rectify inaccurate and incomplete data by providing federal grants to improve hate crimes reporting. The grants would be used to:

  • Train employees on identifying, classifying, and reporting hate crimes in the FBI’s national database.
  • Assist with states’ development of programs to prevent hate crimes.
  • Increase community education around hate crimes.
  • Create state-run hate crime hotlines.

“For more than two decades, thousands of city, county, college and university, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies have voluntarily submitted hate crimes data to the FBI,” wrote the attorneys general. “However, based on the FBI’s 2019 report, most law enforcement agencies did not participate or reported zero incidents. Exacerbating this gap, less than 25 percent of law enforcement agencies are using the FBI’s current reporting system, which took effect this year. This lack of data creates critical gaps that inhibit our understanding of the hate problem. As the chief legal officers of our respective jurisdictions and states, improving hate crimes reporting is a priority. Without reliable statistics, the government cannot properly understand, investigate, and prosecute hate crimes or provide necessary resources to survivors.”

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending today’s letter by the Attorneys General of the District of Columbia, Kansas, Alaska, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, N. Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

A copy of the letter is available here.

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