*”48 percent of the people reporting being victimized by a hate crime said it had been motivated by racial prejudice.” VL
By Joe Sexton, ProPublica (3 minute read)
As often happens with hate crime data — many local and federal law enforcement agencies fail to file reports of such crimes to a national database — the numbers provoked a fair number of questions.
The coalition of newsrooms behind “Documenting Hate” has recorded a wide variety of violence in all corners of the country. Read the story.
The remarkable number of people who don’t report the alleged crimes to police is one phenomenon that cries out for greater understanding. The report said the most common reason given by victims for not reporting to police was that “the victimization was handled another way, such as privately or through a non-enforcement official.” How victims privately handled incidents that in 90 percent of cases involved violence is not further explained.
The number of people who do report the alleged crimes — some 46 percent of 250,000 cases — invites its own mystery. After all, the FBI, in its annual account of hate crimes reported by police departments across the country, only lists some 5,000 or 6,000 reports a year. That seems to mean more than 100,000 people a year reported to police being victimized by a hate crime only to see those reports fail to turn up in the FBI’s national reports.
Not surprisingly, Sessions, in his remarks Thursday, took note of the need to do better at collecting basic information. He also said the department was exploring improving training for prosecutors handling such cases.
“Documenting Hate,” a project on hate crimes involving ProPublica and a coalitions of scores of news organizations, has sought to collect and report on people’s claims of victimization, from serious crimes to the defacing of residences and graveyards to bullying at school.