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Tag: race

FBI: More Than 7,600 People Were Victimized by Hate Crimes in 2016

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

Law enforcement agencies reported a total of 7,615 victims of hate crimes nationwide in 2016.

The largest motivation for committing hate crimes is race, which accounted for 57.5% of the reported cases, the FBI revealed Monday

More than 20% of the hate crimes involved a religious bias. Nearly 18% involved a religious bias. The remaining hate crimes were motivated by a gender identity, disability or gender bias.

The largest percentage of hate crimes – 27.3% – occur in or near residences. Another 18.4% happen on or near some type of roadway.

“The Bureau will also continue to combat hate crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction—the number one investigative priority under our Civil Rights Program—and offer operational assistance to our local and state law enforcement partners during their hate crime investigations,” the FBI said in a press release.

Comey Blames Trump for Distracting from Discussions on Race, Law Enforcement

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey began his lecture series on “law enforcement and race” at Howard University on Wednesday evening, describing a growing divide between police and people of color and blaming President Trump for muddying the issue with distractions.

Comey said the U.S. has lost some of its focus on the tension between law enforcement and people of color, partly blaming Trump.

“I have noticed that since the election of our current president, [the issues] have not had the place in American life that I saw in late 2014, throughout ‘15, throughout ‘16,” Comey said, according to Newsweek. “I think the most likely explanation is that issues involving the new administration, including the emergence of appalling voices of white nationalism and racism, have crowded out the topic of law enforcement from American public life.” 

Comey added in his third public speech since being fired: “Although I think it is vital that we confront racism when it comes at us in the form of torch marches or racism or hate crimes, it is critical that we not lose sight of the issue that we began discussing in earnest two and a half years ago.”

Comey encouraged frank discussions between people with different viewpoints.

“My goal is to try to model, especially for students, how to have a conversation about really hard, emotional things,” he said. “It’s only by all of us adopting that attitude, the attitude that, ‘Hey, you could be right and I could be wrong,’ that we have the best chance of learning something in a deep away.” He added, “We are in a dangerous place in this country right now, where we hate too quickly, where disagreement becomes anger too quickly.”

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.

ATF Offers $10K Reward After 8 Milwaukee Businesses Were Set Ablaze

ATF_LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of arsonists who set fire to eight Milwaukee businesses during an uprising over the weekend.

The Washington Times reports that arsonists targeted a gas station, beauty supply store, auto parts store, supermarket and three liquor stores on Saturday and Sunday night.

A rally over three fatal shooting of Sylville Smith, an armed black man, turned violent after police tried to stop a march.

Seven officers also were injured.

The damage is “estimated to exceed several million dollars,” the ATF said.

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security Secretary Says He’s ‘Concerned’ about Race Relations

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After numerous rallies nationwide following the police shootings of black people, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he’s “concerned” about race relations in America.

Trying to speak to both police and protesters, Johnson said, “Violence never solves anything.”

“An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind and at this point, we need to stand with our law enforcement community,” Johnson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Johnson also was referring tot he sniper attack the killed five officers and injured seven others in Dallas.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, speaking with Johnson, criticized Black Lives Matter.

“The reality of the Black Lives Matter movement is it is significantly focused, primarily focused on police and their efforts to portray police and the police profession in a very negative way, which is unfortunate,” he said.

Other Stories of Interest

President Obama Calls for Reformed Drug Sentences That Overwhelmingly Face Young Black Men

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama on Thursday delivered a clear message Wednesday when he commuted the federal prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders: The time has come to overhaul a criminal justice system that locks away too many nonviolent offenders.

Obama also expressed concern that may of the nonviolent offenders who are incarcerated are young black men, CNN reports. 

During an impassioned speech at the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia, Obama bemoaned the fact that inmates are confined to horrible prison conditions, including rape and solitary confinement, which he declared “have no place in any civilized country.”

“In too many places, black boys and black men, and Latino boys and Latino men, experience being treated different under the law,” Obama said, claiming his assertion wasn’t “anecdote” or “barber shop talk,” but instead backed by data.

Obama is trying to gain bipartisan support for reforming the current sentencing laws.

FBI: Fire Not Intentionally Set in Church Previously Burned by KKK

greeleyville_scBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities were immediately suspicious when fire broke out inside a black church that the KKK had burned down in South Carolina 20 years ago.

After all, the fire came amid a string of suspicious fires at black churches following the shooting at Charleston’s historic African Methodist Episcopal Church less than a week earlier.

But the Associated Press reports that the FBI does not believe the fire was the work of an arsonist, according to an agent who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The fire broke out Tuesday evening as storms passed over the area, gutting the church.

Two KKK members pleaded guilty to burning the same church in 1995.

FBI Director Comey Tells Police How to Join Dialogue about Race

Director James B. Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey met privately with Connecticut police chiefs Tuesday and encouraged them to become a part of the dialogue about policing and race, the Associated Press reports.

Comey described the discussion as productive but declined to discuss specifics.

“As you would expect in the Nutmeg State, it was a thoughtful and rich conversation,” said Comey, who still considers Connecticut home after working in the past for Westport-based Bridgewater Associates.

It was Comey’s second visit to the New Haven field office since taking the helm nearly two years ago.

Comey said he is trying to make the FBI more diverse but the bureau has struggled to get  enough applicants.

“We’re in a good place in Connecticut,” Comey said. “It was mostly a positive discussion about how they perceive law enforcement relationships to have improved particularly under the leadership I now have and have had for two years here in Connecticut, and that’s a good thing.”