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Tag: hate crimes

FBI Helps Locate, Arrest Suspect in Israel for Allegedly Threatening Jewish Organizations

israeli flagBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI helped locate and arrest the suspect accused of threatening Jewish organizations across the U.S. and other parts of the world.

The suspect was in Israel.

The Israeli National Police worked with the FBI to help locate the suspect, whose identity has not been revealed.

“Investigating hate crimes is a top priority for the FBI, and we will continue to work to make sure all races and religions feel safe in their communities and in their places of worship,” the FBI said in a statement.

The bureau declined to provide more information at this time.

Since Donald Trump was elected president, reported hate crimes have soared, including threats against Jewish people.

Homeland Security Pledges to Help Investigate Uptick in Hate Crimes

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security pledged to help investigate a rise in hate-based crimes, from bomb threats to Jewish institutions to shootings of Indian nationals.

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said Thursday that the “apparent hate-inspired attacks and harassment against individuals and communities” are “unacceptable.”

DHS’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Office of International Engagement will be used in the investigations.

So far this year, about 90 Jewish community centers and schools have received threats, often about bombs.

Homeland Security’s help is long-awaited as civil rights leaders have questioned the Trump administration’s slow response to addressing an uptick in hate crimes.

Full Homeland Security statement:

Over the past few weeks, our country has seen an unacceptable and disturbing rise in the number of apparent hate-inspired attacks and harassment against individuals and communities. I strongly condemn any violent acts to perpetuate fear and intimidation not only against individuals, but entire communities. I pledge the full support of the Department of Homeland Security to assist local, state, and federal investigations into these incidents.

In response to these attacks, I have directed the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to work with impacted communities. We will heighten our outreach and support to groups affected by these incidents to enhance public safety. The Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties will hold Incident Communication Coordination Team calls with impacted communities. The DHS Office of International Engagement will also continue to work with foreign governments whose nationals have been affected by these violent acts.

The United States has a history of welcoming and accepting individuals regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or national origin. Freedom of religion is a cherished American value, guaranteed by the United States Constitution. DHS is committed to protecting all people’s right to that essential freedom.

Hate Crimes Against Muslims Surged 67% in 2015, Second Highest on Record

Donald Trump supporter yells at Muslim woman at a rally in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Donald Trump supporter yells at Muslim woman at a rally in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Reported hate crimes against Muslims increased a whopping 67% in 2015, according to official FBI data released Sunday.

Overall, hate crimes reported to police spiked 6.8%.

The number of reported hate crimes targeting Muslims jumped from 154 in 2014 to 257 in 2015, marking the second highest number since the federal government began recording hate crimes in 1992.

The highest on record was 481 in 2011, when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks occurred.

More than half of the overall hate crimes – 3,310 – involved race. More than 1,050 incidents targeted people due to sexual orientation.

But those numbers are likely only a fraction of the actual hate crimes committed across the country because many police agencies didn’t submit any incidents for the past six year.

Many observers believe hate crimes will spike in 2016 because of the divisive rhetoric of Donald Trump.

Police Underreport Hate Crimes to FBI, Hindering Efforts to Combat the Crimes

hate-photo-of-handBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s difficult to know how often hate crimes are committed because many communities don’t share the information with the FBI.

The Associated Press analyzed police data that is given to the FBI and discovered that more than 2,700 city police and county sheriff’s departments have never submitted a hate crime report in the past six years. That’s about 17% of all city and county law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The FBI and others say more accurate reporting would increase efforts to combat hate crimes.

“We need the reporting to happen,” said the Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King preached. “Without a diagnosis, we don’t know how serious the illness is. And without a diagnosis, there is no prescription. And without a prescription, there is no healing.”

Justice Department to Train Law Enforcement How to Work with Transgender People

courtSteve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Transgender people are disproportionately harmed by violence – so much so that the Justice Department is training law enforcement how to handle them as crime victims.

The idea is to help identify hate crimes and build more trust with law enforcement, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue,” Associate Attorney General Tony West said at a ceremony unveiling the program. “Because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement.”

Police have been criticized for their responsiveness to crimes against transgender people, according to the AP.

Anti-Defamation League: FBI Hate Crime Statistics Have Serious Flaws

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI issues statistics every year for hate crimes in the U.S.

This year, hate crimes fell 7%. Good news, right?

Not exactly, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The annual statistics come from law enforcement agencies that voluntarily release the information. About a quarter of the nation’s law enforcement agencies don’t even particate.

“Especially disappointing is the fact that the report contains no data from jurisdictions that had been models for national response in the past,” ADL National chairman Abraham Foxman said. “The Justice Department and the FBI should use every resource at their disposal to push harder to obtain this missing data, urging those cities and states that still have not provided their 2012 hate crime data to do so as quickly as possible.”

FBI Begins to Track Hate Crimes Against Followers of the Sikh Religion

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI will begin tracking crimes against Sikhs as part of its reporting system, the Associated Press reports.

The decision follows recent attacks on followers of the Sikh religion, including the shooting deaths of six worshippers in Wisconsin in August.

Followers of the religion have been pressing the FBI to include Sikhs in the tracking of hate crimes.

About 10% of Sikh adults have been physically assaulted because of their religious beliefs, a coalition of Sikhs told the FBI.

More Than 100 Members of Congress Urge FBI to Expand Tracking of Hate Crimes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Support for tracking hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindus and Arab-Americans gained traction Thursday after more than 100 members of Congress sent a letter urging the FBI to take action, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports.

The letter urging the FBI to begin tracking hate crimes against those groups comes after the Department of Justice also asked the FBI to do the same.

The desire to expand tracking for hate crimes follows the massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August 2012.

“Unfortunately, there is a specific, demonstrated need for hate crime data for each of these three categories,” the letter said. “We understand that, at present, the FBI does not collect specific information about these categories of hate violence, which may at times be recorded as anti-Muslim bias motivation. However, evidence suggests that all too many crimes are committed against these groups because of their religious or national identity, and not because they are confused with Muslims.”