Archive for the ‘Hate Crimes’ Category

"KKK" vandalism being investigated as hate crime – ABC 12 News (press release)

BURTON (WJRT) – (06/27/17) – “Very embarrassing, I mean to wake up in the morning to see something like this going on,” Gaynell Richardson said.

The Richardsons have lived in their quiet, well-kept Burton neighborhood for 13 years with no trouble, but Tuesday morning, Gaynell and Larry’s daughter called them after noticing white paint on their car in the driveway.

Larry came out to look at the marking and then walked around the rest of his house, where he found someone had spray-painted “KKK” and some other words on three sides of his home.

“This is just upsetting, you know. You go out and work, take care of your house and try to keep your place up and somebody come around I don’t know,” Larry said.

This is actually the second incident this year. The first happened just two months ago. Larry showed us the damage still left on the siding from where he says rocks were thrown. The window was also broken.

“To break the glass, because it’s double pane, they had to give some force. And as you can see, the damage done to the siding, that had to be with some force,” Larry said.

Gaynell drove around and says no other house in their neighborhood has been hit, so she can’t understand why they’ve been singled out.

“The neighborhood is very, you know, diverse,” she said. “I would never have thought that, you know, this would happen here.”

Larry pointed toward the new presidential administration.

“Nowadays, I would think that we were passed that. I don’t know. It’s hurtful. And personally, it seems like, I don’t know if I should say this, what’s going on in our nation, certain situations had brought out more hate crimes,” Larry said.

“I don’t know what will happen next. I mean, we don’t. It’s very scary and embarrassing, Gaynell said.

Larry says they’re looking into purchasing a security camera system and will try various cleaners to start getting the paint off.

The Burton Police Chief says an investigator is being assigned to the case. It’s not clear yet if the two incidents are related.

Chief Osterholzer asks anyone with information to contact his department.

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"KKK" vandalism being investigated as hate crime – ABC 12 News (press release)

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June 27, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed

Look who’s inviting you to report ‘hate crimes’ – WND.com

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-financing plot, has launched a mobile phone app called Making Democracy Work for Everyone that enables Muslims to quickly and efficiently report hate crimes.

CAIR, in a statement, called it an important feature during a period of increased hate incidents targeting American Muslims and other minority groups.

It has been on the back burner for some time. Its development got accelerated though with the election of Donald Trump, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told CNN.

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Hooper, claiming hate crimes are being reported on a daily basis, said he hopes the ease of using the app will make the number of incidents reported closer to the number that actually occur.

CNN pointed out that the apps launch came a week after a Muslim teen was attacked and killed near a Virginia mosque.

But authorities eventually classified the baseball-bat beating of Nabra Hassanen by an illegal alien as a road-rage accident.

And while CAIR recently claimed a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year, WND has reported many incidents the organization has reported as hate crimes are found to be misreported or even fabricated.

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Hooper told CNN anyone who reports an incident through the app will be helped either through CAIR or another organization.

The app also offers advice on constitutional rights when a Muslim is contacted by law enforcement, Homeland Security or other officials.

CAIR civil-rights attorney Gadeir Abbas said it also can be used in real time when someone is detained at U.S. Customs, for example.

CNN noted that in 2012, the Sikh Coalition developed a mobile app that allowed users to report incidents of airport profiling and make official complaints to the Transportation Security Administration and the DHS.

CAIR has sued the authors of a WND Books expos, Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld Thats Conspiring to Islamize America, which documented the groups radical ties. A trial in the case is expected to commence this fall.

According to evidence entered in aHamas terror-financing case, CAIR was founded by figures associated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the worldwide movement that has stated its intent to transform the U.S. into an Islamic state. The Justice Department later designated CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. More than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.

An FBI chart obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request shows connections between CAIR and Hamas.

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Look who’s inviting you to report ‘hate crimes’ – WND.com

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Northern Calif. police investigate possible anti-Muslim hate crimes – CBS News

SACRAMENTO — Police in Sacramento are investigating two possible hate crimes against Muslims.

An image circulated around the community Saturday showing a Quran filled with bacon that was burned and handcuffed to a fence at the largest mosque in the state’s capital.

On Friday night, pages ripped from a Quran were thrown outside the Islamic Center of Davis, California and picked up by worshippers during Ramadan prayers.

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LeBron James’ Los Angeles home was vandalized with a racial slur the same day a noose was found at the National Museum of African American Histor…

It’s the third time the mosque has been targeted since the 2016 presidential election.

A woman was seen vandalizing the center in January.

In November, the mosque was one of several that received a letter calling Muslims vile and filthy. It also praised then president-elect Donald Trump, saying, “He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”

“We don’t think it’s a coincidence that this surge in anti-Muslim hate crimes happened at the very moment that Donald Trump came to the forefront, normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry, and has emboldened individuals to go after Muslim neighbors,” says Albert Cahn, legal director at New York’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

“This is as clear as using a swastika or using a burning cross. This is meant as a symbol of hate, it is meant as a symbol of intimidation, and when it is done to a mosque during the height of Ramadan, during prayers, the message is clear. These people wanted to instill fear. They wanted to harass, and that message has no place in this country,” Cahn says.

In response to the increase in attacks, CAIR has created a civil rights mobile application where minority groups can report assaults as they happen. As for the Sacramento and Davis incidents, they are both being investigated as hate crimes.

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Northern Calif. police investigate possible anti-Muslim hate crimes – CBS News

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Hate Crimes Haven’t Deterred Millennial Muslims From Celebrating The End Of Ramadan – CBS Sacramento

By Anser Hassan June 26, 2017 12:29 AM

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) There was stepped-up security and extra patrols around Sacramento region mosques Sunday morning, as tens of thousands came out to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is the ninth and most holy month of Islamic calendar, in which healthy, adult Muslims are required to abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk.

Over 5,000 attended the Grand Eid Celebration at McClellan Park in Sacramento host to one of the largest regional Eid events. But despite the colorful outfits and traditional dresses that symbolize the communitys diversity and the festive atmosphere filled with food stalls, clothing bazar and numerous activities for children, the smiles and laughter mask a growing Islamophobia and backlash against the local Muslim community.

On Saturday, a burned Quran stuffed with bacon was found handcuffed to fence at the Masjid An-Nur mosque in South Sacramento. On Friday, ripped-out pages of the Quran were thrown at the Davis mosque by a passing van. Both are being investigated as hate crimes.

There have been six hate crime incidents at locals mosque over the last six months, not to mention the anti-Shariah march from a few weeks ago. But those attacks arent deterring Muslim millennials.

Islamophobia, even though it exists, our Muslims are still coming out, and we are not scared. We are taking a stand, and we are celebrating, said Anoosh Ali, 17, a junior at Mira Loma High School, who attended the Grand Celebration at McClellan Park.

That message resonated across the community, as they came out by the thousands to celebrate the end of the month of Ramadan, against a backdrop of terror directed at them.

I actually think thats how our community has always been. The more battered we get, the more scratches we experience, people get stronger, said Imam Azeez of the Tarbiya Institute, a local Muslim organization. Imam Azeez lead the congregational prayer.

Many young Muslims recognize that backlash stems in large part to terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam and how that contributes to the increasing pressure they face locally.

Yet despite that, many Muslim millennials refuse to be victims.

There is a lot of discrimination going on, so I dont want to point fingers and say, Hey, we are the group being discriminated against, because a lot of groups are being discriminated against, said Amir El-Badry, a young father, who grew up in Sacramento.

But despite the backlash, there are bright spots. In attendance at the Grand Eid Celebration was Hasan Minhaj, a comedian from Davis and a Muslim millennial, who has risen to international fame.

Only in America can a first-generation, Indian American Muslim kid get on the stage and make fun of the president, he joked as he hosted this years White House Correspondents Dinner.

Thats a message thatsnot lost on this generation of aspiringyoung Muslim Americans.

It was really nice to just see the community get together even after all that is happening. Its nice that we are still able to stand on our own, said Ali.

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Hate Crimes Haven’t Deterred Millennial Muslims From Celebrating The End Of Ramadan – CBS Sacramento

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Victim of a hate crime? Now there’s an app for that – CNN

Now there’s a mobile app for that.

“It has been on the back burner for some time. It’s development got accelerated though with the election of Donald Trump,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper tells CNN.

“It’s on a daily basis now that we are issuing a statement about some hate crime somewhere in the country, some days multiple incidents,” he said. “One of the reasons we wanted to make the app is because that’s how so many young people access the world, they feel more comfortable using an app than making a phone call sometimes.”

CAIR is hoping that an easier reporting process will make the number of incidents reported closer to the number that actually occur.

“A lot of these incidents go unreported so anything we can do to make it easier to report, we want to do,” Hooper said.

There has been an unprecedented spike in hate crimes targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the election of President Trump, according to CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization recently released a report showing a 57% increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This was accompanied by a 44% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.

This app isn’t just for Muslim’s though, Hooper said.

“Anybody can report,” he said. “That’s one thing we’ve noticed — it’s not just Muslim-Americans who are experiencing more hate incidents, it’s all groups of minorities.”

Anyone who reports an incident will be helped either through CAIR or in conjunction with other organizations, according to Hooper.

Hate crimes are rising not just against Muslims but all groups, according to the FBI, which has been tracking hate crime statistics since 1990.

The 2016 numbers are not yet available but in 2015 there were 5,818 hate crimes in the US, up by about 340 incidents from 2014, the FBI said.

Over 20% of attacks on religious groups in 2015 targeted Muslims, according to FBI data. The FBI reported 257 hate crimes against Muslims in 2015, an increase from 154 crimes in 2014.

CAIR’s free “Making Democracy work for Everyone” app not only allows users to report the incidents, it also offers advice on what your constitutional rights are when you are contacted by law enforcement, Homeland Security, or other officials.

There is advice on the app on where to go when facing discrimination in the workplace or school. Other features include a news feed with articles relevant to the American Muslim community, along with polls on social and political issues.

It can be used to get advice in real time situations too, said CAIR civil rights attorney Gadeir Abbas.

This is not the first civil rights’ mobile application.

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Victim of a hate crime? Now there’s an app for that – CNN

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June 25, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed

More than 100 federal agencies fail to report hate crimes to FBI – The CT Mirror

In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBIs national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned.

The lack of participation by federal law enforcement represents a significant and largely unknown flaw in the database, which is supposed to be the nations most comprehensive source of information on hate crimes. The database is maintained by the FBIs Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which uses it to tabulate the number of alleged hate crimes occurring around the nation each year.

The FBI has identified at least 120 federal agencies that arent uploading information to the database, according to Amy Blasher, a unit chief at the CJIS division, an arm of the bureau that is overseeing the modernization of its information systems.

The federal government operates a vast array of law enforcement agencies ranging from Customs and Border Protection to the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Amtrak Police employing more than 120,000 law enforcement officers with arrest powers. The FBI would not say which agencies have declined to participate in the program, but the bureaus annual tally of hate crimes statistics does not include any offenses handled by federal law enforcement. Indeed, the problem is so widespread that the FBI itself isnt submitting the hate crimes it investigates to its own database.

We truly dont understand whats happening with crime in the U.S. without the federal component, Blasher said in an interview.

At present, the bulk of the information in the database is supplied by state and local police departments. In 2015, the database tracked more than 5,580 alleged hate crime incidents, including 257 targeting Muslims, an upward surge of 67 percent from the previous year. (The bureau hasnt released 2016 or 2017 statistics yet.)

But its long been clear that hundreds of local police departments dont send data to the FBI, and so given the added lack of participation by federal law enforcement, the true numbers for 2015 are likely to be significantly higher.

A federal law, the 1988 Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act, requires all U.S. government law enforcement agencies to send a wide variety of crime data to the FBI. Two years later, after the passage of another law, the bureau began collecting data about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. That was later expanded to include gender and gender identity.

The federal agencies that are not submitting data are violating the law, Blasher told us. She said shes in contact with about 20 agencies and is hopeful that some will start participating, but added that there is no firm timeline for that to happen.

Honestly, we dont know how long it will take, Blasher said of the effort to get federal agencies on board.

The issue goes far beyond hate crimes federal agencies are failing to report a whole range of crime statistics, Blasher conceded. But hate crimes, and the lack of reliable data concerning them, have been of intense interest amid the countrys highly polarized and volatile political environment.

ProPublica contacted several federal agencies seeking an explanation. A spokesperson for the Armys Criminal Investigation Command, which handles close to 50,000 offenses annually, said the service is adhering to Defense Department rules regarding crime data and is using a digital crime tracking system linked to the FBIs database. But the Army declined to say whether its statistics are actually being sent to the FBI, referring that question up the chain of command to the Department of Defense.

In 2014, an internal probe conducted by Defense Department investigators found that the DoD is not reporting criminal incident data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in the annual Uniform Crime Reports.

ProPublica contacted the Defense Department for clarification, and shared with a department spokesman a copy of the 2014 reports acknowledging the failure to send data to the FBI.

We have no additional information at this time, said Christopher Sherwood, the spokesman.

Federal agencies are hardly the only ones to skip out on reporting hate crimes. An Associated Press investigation last year found at least 2,700 city police and county sheriffs departments that repeatedly failed to report hate crimes to the FBI.

In the case of the FBI itself, Blasher said the issue is largely technological: Agents have long collected huge amounts of information about alleged hate crimes, but dont have a digital system to easily input that information to the database, which is administered by staff at an FBI complex in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Since Blasher began pushing to modernize the FBIs data systems, the bureau has made some progress. It began compiling some limited hate crimes statistics for 2014 and 2015, though that information didnt go into the national hate crimes database.

In Washington, lawmakers were surprised to learn about the failure by federal agencies to abide by the law.

Its fascinating and very disturbing, said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who said he wanted to speak about the matter with the FBIs government affairs team. He wants to see federal agencies reporting hate crimes as soon as possible.

Beyer and other lawmakers have been working in recent years to improve the numbers of local police agencies participating in voluntary hate crime reporting efforts. Bills pending in Congress would give out grants to police forces to upgrade their computer systems; in exchange, the departments would begin uploading hate crime data to the FBI.

Beyer, who is sponsoring the House bill, titled the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act, said he would consider drafting new legislation to improve hate crimes reporting by federal agencies, or try to build such a provision into the appropriations bill.

The federal government needs to lead by example. Its not easy to ask local and state governments to submit their data if these 120 federal agencies arent even submitting hate crimes data to the database, Beyer said.

In the Senate, Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota said the federal agencies need to do better. Ive long urged the FBI and the Department of Justice to improve the tracking and reporting of hate crimes by state and local law enforcement agencies, Franken told ProPublica. But in order to make sure we understand the full scope of the problem, the federal government must also do its part to ensure that we have accurate and trustworthy data.

Virginias Barbara Comstock, a House Republican who authored a resolution in April urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal agencies to work to improve the reporting of hate crimes, did not respond to requests for comment.

This story first appeared June 22, 2017, in ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

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More than 100 federal agencies fail to report hate crimes to FBI – The CT Mirror

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REPORT: Many federal agencies fail to report hate crimes to FBI … – Monitor

Note: Documenting Hate

Hate crimes and bias incidents are a national problem, but theres no reliable data on the nature or prevalence of the violence. The Monitor has joined ProPublica and other media organizations in collecting and verifying reports to create a national database for use by journalists, researchers and civil-rights organizations.

In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBIs national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned.

The lack of participation by federal law enforcement represents a significant and largely unknown flaw in the database, which is supposed to be the nations most comprehensive source of information on hate crimes. The database is maintained by the FBIs Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which uses it to tabulate the number of alleged hate crimes occurring around the nation each year.

The FBI has identified at least 120 federal agencies that arent uploading information to the database, according to Amy Blasher, a unit chief at the CJIS division, an arm of the bureau that is overseeing the modernization of its information systems.

The federal government operates a vast array of law enforcement agencies ranging from Customs and Border Protection to the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Amtrak Police employing more than 120,000 law enforcement officers with arrest powers. The FBI would not say which agencies have declined to participate in the program, but the bureaus annual tally of hate crimes statistics does not include any offenses handled by federal law enforcement. Indeed, the problem is so widespread that the FBI itself isnt submitting the hate crimes it investigates to its own database.

We truly dont understand whats happening with crime in the U.S. without the federal component, Blasher said in an interview.

At present, the bulk of the information in the database is supplied by state and local police departments. In 2015, the database tracked more than 5,580 alleged hate crime incidents, including 257 targeting Muslims, an upward surge of 67 percent from the previous year. (The bureau hasnt released 2016 or 2017 statistics yet.)

But it has long been clear that hundreds of local police departments dont send data to the FBI, and so given the added lack of participation by federal law enforcement, the true numbers for 2015 are likely to be significantly higher.

A federal law, the 1988 Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act, requires all U.S. government law enforcement agencies to send a wide variety of crime data to the FBI. Two years later, after the passage of another law, the bureau began collecting data about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. That was later expanded to include gender and gender identity.

The federal agencies that are not submitting data are violating the law, Blasher told us. She said shes in contact with about 20 agencies and is hopeful that some will start participating, but added that there is no firm timeline for that to happen.

Honestly, we dont know how long it will take, Blasher said of the effort to get federal agencies on board.

The issue goes far beyond hate crimes federal agencies are failing to report a whole range of crime statistics, Blasher conceded. But hate crimes, and the lack of reliable data concerning them, have been of intense interest amid the countrys highly polarized and volatile political environment.

ProPublica contacted several federal agencies seeking an explanation. A spokesperson for the Armys Criminal Investigation Command, which handles close to 50,000 offenses annually, said the service is adhering to Defense Department rules regarding crime data and is using a digital crime tracking system linked to the FBIs database. But the Army declined to say whether its statistics are actually being sent to the FBI, referring that question up the chain of command to the Department of Defense.

In 2014, an internal probe conducted by Defense Department investigators found that the DoD is not reporting criminal incident data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in the annual Uniform Crime Reports.

ProPublica contacted the Defense Department for clarification, and shared with a department spokesman a copy of the 2014 reports acknowledging the failure to send data to the FBI.

We have no additional information at this time, said Christopher Sherwood, the spokesman.

Federal agencies are hardly the only ones to skip out on reporting hate crimes. An Associated Press investigation last year found at least 2,700 city police and county sheriffs departments that repeatedly failed to report hate crimes to the FBI.

In the case of the FBI itself, Blasher said the issue is largely technological: Agents have long collected huge amounts of information about alleged hate crimes, but dont have a digital system to easily input that information to the database, which is administered by staff at an FBI complex in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Since Blasher began pushing to modernize the FBIs data systems, the bureau has made some progress. It began compiling some limited hate crimes statistics for 2014 and 2015, though that information didnt go into the national hate crimes database.

In Washington, lawmakers were surprised to learn about the failure by federal agencies to abide by the law.

Its fascinating and very disturbing, said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who said he wanted to speak about the matter with the FBIs government affairs team. He wants to see federal agencies reporting hate crimes as soon as possible.

Beyer and other lawmakers have been working in recent years to improve the numbers of local police agencies participating in voluntary hate crime reporting efforts. Bills pending in Congress would give out grants to police forces to upgrade their computer systems; in exchange, the departments would begin uploading hate crime data to the FBI.

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REPORT: Many federal agencies fail to report hate crimes to FBI … – Monitor

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More Than 100 Federal Agencies Fail to Report Hate Crimes to FBI National Database – Boise Weekly

In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBI’s national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned.

The lack of participation by federal law enforcement represents a significant and largely unknown flaw in the database, which is supposed to be the nation’s most comprehensive source of information on hate crimes. The database is maintained by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which uses it to tabulate the number of alleged hate crimes occurring around the nation each year.

The FBI has identified at least 120 federal agencies that aren’t uploading information to the database, according to Amy Blasher, a unit chief at the CJIS division, an arm of the bureau that is overseeing the modernization of its information systems.

The federal government operates a vast array of law enforcement agencies ranging from Customs and Border Protection to the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Amtrak Police employing more than 120,000 law enforcement officers with arrest powers. The FBI would not say which agencies have declined to participate in the program, but the bureau’s annual tally of hate crimes statistics does not include any offenses handled by federal law enforcement. Indeed, the problem is so widespread that the FBI itself isn’t submitting the hate crimes it investigates to its own database.

“We truly don’t understand what’s happening with crime in the U.S. without the federal component,” Blasher said in an interview.

At present, the bulk of the information in the database is supplied by state and local police departments. In 2015, the database tracked more than 5,580 alleged hate crime incidents, including 257 targeting Muslims, an upward surge of 67 percent from the previous year. (The bureau hasn’t released 2016 or 2017 statistics yet.)

But it’s long been clear that hundreds of local police departments don’t send data to the FBI, and so given the added lack of participation by federal law enforcement, the true numbers for 2015 are likely to be significantly higher.

A federal law, the 1988 Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act, requires all U.S. government law enforcement agencies to send a wide variety of crime data to the FBI. Two years later, after the passage of another law, the bureau began collecting data about “crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” That was later expanded to include gender and gender identity.

The federal agencies that are not submitting data are violating the law, Blasher told us. She said she’s in contact with about 20 agencies and is hopeful that some will start participating, but added that there is no firm timeline for that to happen.

“Honestly, we don’t know how long it will take,”Blasher said of the effort to get federal agencies on board.

The issue goes far beyond hate crimes federal agencies are failing to report a whole range of crime statistics, Blasher conceded. But hate crimes, and the lack of reliable data concerning them, have been of intense interest amid the country’s highly polarized and volatile political environment.

ProPublica contacted several federal agencies seeking an explanation. A spokesperson for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, which handles close to 50,000 offenses annually, said the service is adhering to Defense Department rules regarding crime data and is using a digital crime tracking system linked to the FBI’s database. But the Army declined to say whether its statistics are actually being sent to the FBI, referring that question up the chain of command to the Department of Defense.

In 2014, an internal probe conducted by Defense Department investigators found that the “DoD is not reporting criminal incident data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in the annual Uniform Crime Reports.”

ProPublica contacted the Defense Department for clarification, and shared with a department spokesman a copy of the 2014 reports acknowledging the failure to send data to the FBI.

“We have no additional information at this time,” said Christopher Sherwood, the spokesman.

Federal agencies are hardly the only ones to skip out on reporting hate crimes. An Associated Press investigation last year found at least 2,700 city police and county sheriff’s departments that repeatedly failed to report hate crimes to the FBI.

In the case of the FBI itself, Blasher said the issue is largely technological: Agents have long collected huge amounts of information about alleged hate crimes, but don’t have a digital system to easily input that information to the database, which is administered by staff at an FBI complex in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Since Blasher began pushing to modernize the FBI’s data systems, the bureau has made some progress. It began compiling some limited hate crimes statistics for 2014 and 2015, though that information didn’t go into the national hate crimes database.

In Washington, lawmakers were surprised to learn about the failure by federal agencies to abide by the law.

“It’s fascinating and very disturbing,” said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who said he wanted to speak about the matter with the FBI’s government affairs team. He wants to see federal agencies “reporting hate crimes as soon as possible.”

Beyer and other lawmakers have been working in recent years to improve the numbers of local police agencies participating in voluntary hate crime reporting efforts. Bills pending in Congress would give out grants to police forces to upgrade their computer systems; in exchange, the departments would begin uploading hate crime data to the FBI.

Beyer, who is sponsoring the House bill, titled the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act, said he would consider drafting new legislation to improve hate crimes reporting by federal agencies, or try to build such a provision into the appropriations bill.

“The federal government needs to lead by example. It’s not easy to ask local and state governments to submit their data if these 120 federal agencies aren’t even submitting hate crimes data to the database,” Beyer said.

In the Senate, Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota said the federal agencies need to do better. “I’ve long urged the FBI and the Department of Justice to improve the tracking and reporting of hate crimes by state and local law enforcement agencies,” Franken told ProPublica. “But in order to make sure we understand the full scope of the problem, the federal government must also do its part to ensure that we have accurate and trustworthy data.”

Virginia’s Barbara Comstock, a House Republican who authored a resolution in April urging the “Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal agencies to work to improve the reporting of hate crimes,” did not respond to requests for comment.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

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More Than 100 Federal Agencies Fail to Report Hate Crimes to FBI National Database – Boise Weekly

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June 24, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed

Why are we so slow to call hate crimes for what they are? – The Boston Globe

Family members cry during a vigil for Nabra Hassanen on June 21 in Reston, Virginia.

Why have police so quickly dismissed the possibility that Nabra Hassanens murder was a hate crime?

For their own inscrutable reasons, Virginia law enforcement officials claim that road rage, not hate, was the motive in the Muslim teens killing. Last Sunday morning, Hassanen and a group of friends were returning to a mosque when they got into a verbal dispute with a motorist, a man whom police identify as Darwin Martinez Torres.

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Chasing the teens, the motorist drove his car onto the curb, authorities say; when Hassanen tripped, the man reportedly knocked her unconscious with a metal baseball bat and dragged her into his car.

She was later found dead in a pond. Police say she suffered blunt-force trauma to her upper body, and there have been reports that she may have been sexually assaulted.

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Yet authorities quickly ruled out hate crime charges against Torres. It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence, Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Police Department, said at a news conference.

When a gunman kills a stranger in public, its news; when he kills his wife or girlfriend, we overlook it.

That just doesnt sound right. The level of violence seems disproportionate to an act of road rage. Fury might have prompted the suspect to pursue the teens some of whom fled on foot, others on bikes but everything that occured after Hassanen fell hints at a level of pathology beyond just an angry driver.

At a time when bias-based attacks are on the rise, authorities seem increasingly reluctatnt to use the term hate crime. Perhaps they find the words too incendiary, as if uttering the phrase were as damaging as the crime itself. Most hate crimes target people of color, Muslims and Jews, and members of the LGBT community, and officials might prefer to treat such acts as isolated incidents rather than as the product of deeper prejudices. A hate-crime designation has to pass a gauntlet of qualifications unlike terrorism, a similarly provocative term that, all too often, is hastily deployed based on the religion of the perpetrator rather than on the facts of the crime.

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Calling Hassanens death a hate crime wont change its pointlessness or brutality, but doing so would give it a specificity that defining it as an act of road rage lacks. The very term hate crime brands a malicious act for what it is and whom it targets, spurring greater vigilance and awareness. Under certain federal and state laws, hate crime convictions can also lead to increased jail time.

For persecuted groups, such charges publicly validate what theyve experienced all along.

As it happens, Islamophobia isnt the only form of hate that might have motivated Hassanens killer. She may also have been murdered because she was female reports of possible sexual violence may point in that direction and that would also constitute a hate crime.

As defined by law, hate crimes are motivated by bias based on the victims race, color, religion, or national origin. In 2009, the passage of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act added actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or gender to that list.

Still, even though gender is covered, crimes that target women, such as sexual or domestic violence, are never defined as hate crimes even though women are regularly singled out as victims because of their gender.

Clearly, some have no issue with how hate crime laws are applied when it pertains to law enforcement officers. Louisianas Blue Lives Matter law gives police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel protected status under that states hate crime law. One Louisiana police chief even asserted that anyone resisting arrest should be charged with a hate crime, which could bump a misdemeanor up to a felony.

Yet being a police officer, who can change professions or take off his uniform, isnt the same as being a Muslim, African-American or a woman groups who have been historically targeted for who they are, not what they do. Thats why in the streets, in the home, or anywhere else, a crime motivated by hate should always be called out for exactly what it is.

See the article here:

Why are we so slow to call hate crimes for what they are? – The Boston Globe

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"KKK" vandalism being investigated as hate crime – ABC 12 News (press release)

BURTON (WJRT) – (06/27/17) – “Very embarrassing, I mean to wake up in the morning to see something like this going on,” Gaynell Richardson said. The Richardsons have lived in their quiet, well-kept Burton neighborhood for 13 years with no trouble, but Tuesday morning, Gaynell and Larry’s daughter called them after noticing white paint on their car in the driveway. Larry came out to look at the marking and then walked around the rest of his house, where he found someone had spray-painted “KKK” and some other words on three sides of his home. “This is just upsetting, you know. You go out and work, take care of your house and try to keep your place up and somebody come around I don’t know,” Larry said. This is actually the second incident this year. The first happened just two months ago. Larry showed us the damage still left on the siding from where he says rocks were thrown. The window was also broken. “To break the glass, because it’s double pane, they had to give some force. And as you can see, the damage done to the siding, that had to be with some force,” Larry said. Gaynell drove around and says no other house in their neighborhood has been hit, so she can’t understand why they’ve been singled out. “The neighborhood is very, you know, diverse,” she said. “I would never have thought that, you know, this would happen here.” Larry pointed toward the new presidential administration. “Nowadays, I would think that we were passed that. I don’t know. It’s hurtful. And personally, it seems like, I don’t know if I should say this, what’s going on in our nation, certain situations had brought out more hate crimes,” Larry said. “I don’t know what will happen next. I mean, we don’t. It’s very scary and embarrassing, Gaynell said. Larry says they’re looking into purchasing a security camera system and will try various cleaners to start getting the paint off. The Burton Police Chief says an investigator is being assigned to the case. It’s not clear yet if the two incidents are related. Chief Osterholzer asks anyone with information to contact his department.

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Look who’s inviting you to report ‘hate crimes’ – WND.com

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-financing plot, has launched a mobile phone app called Making Democracy Work for Everyone that enables Muslims to quickly and efficiently report hate crimes. CAIR, in a statement, called it an important feature during a period of increased hate incidents targeting American Muslims and other minority groups. It has been on the back burner for some time. Its development got accelerated though with the election of Donald Trump, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told CNN. YOU CAN HELP defend free speech by contributing to the legal defense of WNDs Muslim Mafia author. Hooper, claiming hate crimes are being reported on a daily basis, said he hopes the ease of using the app will make the number of incidents reported closer to the number that actually occur. CNN pointed out that the apps launch came a week after a Muslim teen was attacked and killed near a Virginia mosque. But authorities eventually classified the baseball-bat beating of Nabra Hassanen by an illegal alien as a road-rage accident. And while CAIR recently claimed a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year, WND has reported many incidents the organization has reported as hate crimes are found to be misreported or even fabricated. Real time report Hooper told CNN anyone who reports an incident through the app will be helped either through CAIR or another organization. The app also offers advice on constitutional rights when a Muslim is contacted by law enforcement, Homeland Security or other officials. CAIR civil-rights attorney Gadeir Abbas said it also can be used in real time when someone is detained at U.S. Customs, for example. CNN noted that in 2012, the Sikh Coalition developed a mobile app that allowed users to report incidents of airport profiling and make official complaints to the Transportation Security Administration and the DHS. CAIR has sued the authors of a WND Books expos, Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld Thats Conspiring to Islamize America, which documented the groups radical ties. A trial in the case is expected to commence this fall. According to evidence entered in aHamas terror-financing case, CAIR was founded by figures associated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the worldwide movement that has stated its intent to transform the U.S. into an Islamic state. The Justice Department later designated CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. More than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes. An FBI chart obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request shows connections between CAIR and Hamas. YOU CAN HELP defend free speech by contributing to the legal defense of WNDs Muslim Mafia author.

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Northern Calif. police investigate possible anti-Muslim hate crimes – CBS News

SACRAMENTO — Police in Sacramento are investigating two possible hate crimes against Muslims. An image circulated around the community Saturday showing a Quran filled with bacon that was burned and handcuffed to a fence at the largest mosque in the state’s capital. On Friday night, pages ripped from a Quran were thrown outside the Islamic Center of Davis, California and picked up by worshippers during Ramadan prayers. Play Video LeBron James’ Los Angeles home was vandalized with a racial slur the same day a noose was found at the National Museum of African American Histor… It’s the third time the mosque has been targeted since the 2016 presidential election. A woman was seen vandalizing the center in January. In November, the mosque was one of several that received a letter calling Muslims vile and filthy. It also praised then president-elect Donald Trump, saying, “He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.” “We don’t think it’s a coincidence that this surge in anti-Muslim hate crimes happened at the very moment that Donald Trump came to the forefront, normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry, and has emboldened individuals to go after Muslim neighbors,” says Albert Cahn, legal director at New York’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “This is as clear as using a swastika or using a burning cross. This is meant as a symbol of hate, it is meant as a symbol of intimidation, and when it is done to a mosque during the height of Ramadan, during prayers, the message is clear. These people wanted to instill fear. They wanted to harass, and that message has no place in this country,” Cahn says. In response to the increase in attacks, CAIR has created a civil rights mobile application where minority groups can report assaults as they happen. As for the Sacramento and Davis incidents, they are both being investigated as hate crimes. 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Hate Crimes Haven’t Deterred Millennial Muslims From Celebrating The End Of Ramadan – CBS Sacramento

By Anser Hassan June 26, 2017 12:29 AM SACRAMENTO (CBS13) There was stepped-up security and extra patrols around Sacramento region mosques Sunday morning, as tens of thousands came out to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth and most holy month of Islamic calendar, in which healthy, adult Muslims are required to abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk. Over 5,000 attended the Grand Eid Celebration at McClellan Park in Sacramento host to one of the largest regional Eid events. But despite the colorful outfits and traditional dresses that symbolize the communitys diversity and the festive atmosphere filled with food stalls, clothing bazar and numerous activities for children, the smiles and laughter mask a growing Islamophobia and backlash against the local Muslim community. On Saturday, a burned Quran stuffed with bacon was found handcuffed to fence at the Masjid An-Nur mosque in South Sacramento. On Friday, ripped-out pages of the Quran were thrown at the Davis mosque by a passing van. Both are being investigated as hate crimes. There have been six hate crime incidents at locals mosque over the last six months, not to mention the anti-Shariah march from a few weeks ago. But those attacks arent deterring Muslim millennials. Islamophobia, even though it exists, our Muslims are still coming out, and we are not scared. We are taking a stand, and we are celebrating, said Anoosh Ali, 17, a junior at Mira Loma High School, who attended the Grand Celebration at McClellan Park. That message resonated across the community, as they came out by the thousands to celebrate the end of the month of Ramadan, against a backdrop of terror directed at them. I actually think thats how our community has always been. The more battered we get, the more scratches we experience, people get stronger, said Imam Azeez of the Tarbiya Institute, a local Muslim organization. Imam Azeez lead the congregational prayer. Many young Muslims recognize that backlash stems in large part to terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam and how that contributes to the increasing pressure they face locally. Yet despite that, many Muslim millennials refuse to be victims. There is a lot of discrimination going on, so I dont want to point fingers and say, Hey, we are the group being discriminated against, because a lot of groups are being discriminated against, said Amir El-Badry, a young father, who grew up in Sacramento. But despite the backlash, there are bright spots. In attendance at the Grand Eid Celebration was Hasan Minhaj, a comedian from Davis and a Muslim millennial, who has risen to international fame. Only in America can a first-generation, Indian American Muslim kid get on the stage and make fun of the president, he joked as he hosted this years White House Correspondents Dinner. Thats a message thatsnot lost on this generation of aspiringyoung Muslim Americans. It was really nice to just see the community get together even after all that is happening. Its nice that we are still able to stand on our own, said Ali.

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Victim of a hate crime? Now there’s an app for that – CNN

Now there’s a mobile app for that. “It has been on the back burner for some time. It’s development got accelerated though with the election of Donald Trump,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper tells CNN. “It’s on a daily basis now that we are issuing a statement about some hate crime somewhere in the country, some days multiple incidents,” he said. “One of the reasons we wanted to make the app is because that’s how so many young people access the world, they feel more comfortable using an app than making a phone call sometimes.” CAIR is hoping that an easier reporting process will make the number of incidents reported closer to the number that actually occur. “A lot of these incidents go unreported so anything we can do to make it easier to report, we want to do,” Hooper said. There has been an unprecedented spike in hate crimes targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the election of President Trump, according to CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization recently released a report showing a 57% increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This was accompanied by a 44% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period. This app isn’t just for Muslim’s though, Hooper said. “Anybody can report,” he said. “That’s one thing we’ve noticed — it’s not just Muslim-Americans who are experiencing more hate incidents, it’s all groups of minorities.” Anyone who reports an incident will be helped either through CAIR or in conjunction with other organizations, according to Hooper. Hate crimes are rising not just against Muslims but all groups, according to the FBI, which has been tracking hate crime statistics since 1990. The 2016 numbers are not yet available but in 2015 there were 5,818 hate crimes in the US, up by about 340 incidents from 2014, the FBI said. Over 20% of attacks on religious groups in 2015 targeted Muslims, according to FBI data. The FBI reported 257 hate crimes against Muslims in 2015, an increase from 154 crimes in 2014. CAIR’s free “Making Democracy work for Everyone” app not only allows users to report the incidents, it also offers advice on what your constitutional rights are when you are contacted by law enforcement, Homeland Security, or other officials. There is advice on the app on where to go when facing discrimination in the workplace or school. Other features include a news feed with articles relevant to the American Muslim community, along with polls on social and political issues. It can be used to get advice in real time situations too, said CAIR civil rights attorney Gadeir Abbas. This is not the first civil rights’ mobile application.

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More than 100 federal agencies fail to report hate crimes to FBI – The CT Mirror

In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBIs national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned. The lack of participation by federal law enforcement represents a significant and largely unknown flaw in the database, which is supposed to be the nations most comprehensive source of information on hate crimes. The database is maintained by the FBIs Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which uses it to tabulate the number of alleged hate crimes occurring around the nation each year. The FBI has identified at least 120 federal agencies that arent uploading information to the database, according to Amy Blasher, a unit chief at the CJIS division, an arm of the bureau that is overseeing the modernization of its information systems. The federal government operates a vast array of law enforcement agencies ranging from Customs and Border Protection to the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Amtrak Police employing more than 120,000 law enforcement officers with arrest powers. The FBI would not say which agencies have declined to participate in the program, but the bureaus annual tally of hate crimes statistics does not include any offenses handled by federal law enforcement. Indeed, the problem is so widespread that the FBI itself isnt submitting the hate crimes it investigates to its own database. We truly dont understand whats happening with crime in the U.S. without the federal component, Blasher said in an interview. At present, the bulk of the information in the database is supplied by state and local police departments. In 2015, the database tracked more than 5,580 alleged hate crime incidents, including 257 targeting Muslims, an upward surge of 67 percent from the previous year. (The bureau hasnt released 2016 or 2017 statistics yet.) But its long been clear that hundreds of local police departments dont send data to the FBI, and so given the added lack of participation by federal law enforcement, the true numbers for 2015 are likely to be significantly higher. A federal law, the 1988 Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act, requires all U.S. government law enforcement agencies to send a wide variety of crime data to the FBI. Two years later, after the passage of another law, the bureau began collecting data about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. That was later expanded to include gender and gender identity. The federal agencies that are not submitting data are violating the law, Blasher told us. She said shes in contact with about 20 agencies and is hopeful that some will start participating, but added that there is no firm timeline for that to happen. Honestly, we dont know how long it will take, Blasher said of the effort to get federal agencies on board. The issue goes far beyond hate crimes federal agencies are failing to report a whole range of crime statistics, Blasher conceded. But hate crimes, and the lack of reliable data concerning them, have been of intense interest amid the countrys highly polarized and volatile political environment. ProPublica contacted several federal agencies seeking an explanation. A spokesperson for the Armys Criminal Investigation Command, which handles close to 50,000 offenses annually, said the service is adhering to Defense Department rules regarding crime data and is using a digital crime tracking system linked to the FBIs database. But the Army declined to say whether its statistics are actually being sent to the FBI, referring that question up the chain of command to the Department of Defense. In 2014, an internal probe conducted by Defense Department investigators found that the DoD is not reporting criminal incident data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in the annual Uniform Crime Reports. ProPublica contacted the Defense Department for clarification, and shared with a department spokesman a copy of the 2014 reports acknowledging the failure to send data to the FBI. We have no additional information at this time, said Christopher Sherwood, the spokesman. Federal agencies are hardly the only ones to skip out on reporting hate crimes. An Associated Press investigation last year found at least 2,700 city police and county sheriffs departments that repeatedly failed to report hate crimes to the FBI. In the case of the FBI itself, Blasher said the issue is largely technological: Agents have long collected huge amounts of information about alleged hate crimes, but dont have a digital system to easily input that information to the database, which is administered by staff at an FBI complex in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Since Blasher began pushing to modernize the FBIs data systems, the bureau has made some progress. It began compiling some limited hate crimes statistics for 2014 and 2015, though that information didnt go into the national hate crimes database. In Washington, lawmakers were surprised to learn about the failure by federal agencies to abide by the law. Its fascinating and very disturbing, said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who said he wanted to speak about the matter with the FBIs government affairs team. He wants to see federal agencies reporting hate crimes as soon as possible. Beyer and other lawmakers have been working in recent years to improve the numbers of local police agencies participating in voluntary hate crime reporting efforts. Bills pending in Congress would give out grants to police forces to upgrade their computer systems; in exchange, the departments would begin uploading hate crime data to the FBI. Beyer, who is sponsoring the House bill, titled the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act, said he would consider drafting new legislation to improve hate crimes reporting by federal agencies, or try to build such a provision into the appropriations bill. The federal government needs to lead by example. Its not easy to ask local and state governments to submit their data if these 120 federal agencies arent even submitting hate crimes data to the database, Beyer said. In the Senate, Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota said the federal agencies need to do better. Ive long urged the FBI and the Department of Justice to improve the tracking and reporting of hate crimes by state and local law enforcement agencies, Franken told ProPublica. But in order to make sure we understand the full scope of the problem, the federal government must also do its part to ensure that we have accurate and trustworthy data. Virginias Barbara Comstock, a House Republican who authored a resolution in April urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal agencies to work to improve the reporting of hate crimes, did not respond to requests for comment. This story first appeared June 22, 2017, in ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

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REPORT: Many federal agencies fail to report hate crimes to FBI … – Monitor

Note: Documenting Hate Hate crimes and bias incidents are a national problem, but theres no reliable data on the nature or prevalence of the violence. The Monitor has joined ProPublica and other media organizations in collecting and verifying reports to create a national database for use by journalists, researchers and civil-rights organizations. In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBIs national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned. The lack of participation by federal law enforcement represents a significant and largely unknown flaw in the database, which is supposed to be the nations most comprehensive source of information on hate crimes. The database is maintained by the FBIs Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which uses it to tabulate the number of alleged hate crimes occurring around the nation each year. The FBI has identified at least 120 federal agencies that arent uploading information to the database, according to Amy Blasher, a unit chief at the CJIS division, an arm of the bureau that is overseeing the modernization of its information systems. The federal government operates a vast array of law enforcement agencies ranging from Customs and Border Protection to the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Amtrak Police employing more than 120,000 law enforcement officers with arrest powers. The FBI would not say which agencies have declined to participate in the program, but the bureaus annual tally of hate crimes statistics does not include any offenses handled by federal law enforcement. Indeed, the problem is so widespread that the FBI itself isnt submitting the hate crimes it investigates to its own database. We truly dont understand whats happening with crime in the U.S. without the federal component, Blasher said in an interview. At present, the bulk of the information in the database is supplied by state and local police departments. In 2015, the database tracked more than 5,580 alleged hate crime incidents, including 257 targeting Muslims, an upward surge of 67 percent from the previous year. (The bureau hasnt released 2016 or 2017 statistics yet.) But it has long been clear that hundreds of local police departments dont send data to the FBI, and so given the added lack of participation by federal law enforcement, the true numbers for 2015 are likely to be significantly higher. A federal law, the 1988 Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act, requires all U.S. government law enforcement agencies to send a wide variety of crime data to the FBI. Two years later, after the passage of another law, the bureau began collecting data about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. That was later expanded to include gender and gender identity. The federal agencies that are not submitting data are violating the law, Blasher told us. She said shes in contact with about 20 agencies and is hopeful that some will start participating, but added that there is no firm timeline for that to happen. Honestly, we dont know how long it will take, Blasher said of the effort to get federal agencies on board. The issue goes far beyond hate crimes federal agencies are failing to report a whole range of crime statistics, Blasher conceded. But hate crimes, and the lack of reliable data concerning them, have been of intense interest amid the countrys highly polarized and volatile political environment. ProPublica contacted several federal agencies seeking an explanation. A spokesperson for the Armys Criminal Investigation Command, which handles close to 50,000 offenses annually, said the service is adhering to Defense Department rules regarding crime data and is using a digital crime tracking system linked to the FBIs database. But the Army declined to say whether its statistics are actually being sent to the FBI, referring that question up the chain of command to the Department of Defense. In 2014, an internal probe conducted by Defense Department investigators found that the DoD is not reporting criminal incident data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in the annual Uniform Crime Reports. ProPublica contacted the Defense Department for clarification, and shared with a department spokesman a copy of the 2014 reports acknowledging the failure to send data to the FBI. We have no additional information at this time, said Christopher Sherwood, the spokesman. Federal agencies are hardly the only ones to skip out on reporting hate crimes. An Associated Press investigation last year found at least 2,700 city police and county sheriffs departments that repeatedly failed to report hate crimes to the FBI. In the case of the FBI itself, Blasher said the issue is largely technological: Agents have long collected huge amounts of information about alleged hate crimes, but dont have a digital system to easily input that information to the database, which is administered by staff at an FBI complex in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Since Blasher began pushing to modernize the FBIs data systems, the bureau has made some progress. It began compiling some limited hate crimes statistics for 2014 and 2015, though that information didnt go into the national hate crimes database. In Washington, lawmakers were surprised to learn about the failure by federal agencies to abide by the law. Its fascinating and very disturbing, said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who said he wanted to speak about the matter with the FBIs government affairs team. He wants to see federal agencies reporting hate crimes as soon as possible. Beyer and other lawmakers have been working in recent years to improve the numbers of local police agencies participating in voluntary hate crime reporting efforts. Bills pending in Congress would give out grants to police forces to upgrade their computer systems; in exchange, the departments would begin uploading hate crime data to the FBI.

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June 25, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed

More Than 100 Federal Agencies Fail to Report Hate Crimes to FBI National Database – Boise Weekly

In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBI’s national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned. The lack of participation by federal law enforcement represents a significant and largely unknown flaw in the database, which is supposed to be the nation’s most comprehensive source of information on hate crimes. The database is maintained by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which uses it to tabulate the number of alleged hate crimes occurring around the nation each year. The FBI has identified at least 120 federal agencies that aren’t uploading information to the database, according to Amy Blasher, a unit chief at the CJIS division, an arm of the bureau that is overseeing the modernization of its information systems. The federal government operates a vast array of law enforcement agencies ranging from Customs and Border Protection to the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Amtrak Police employing more than 120,000 law enforcement officers with arrest powers. The FBI would not say which agencies have declined to participate in the program, but the bureau’s annual tally of hate crimes statistics does not include any offenses handled by federal law enforcement. Indeed, the problem is so widespread that the FBI itself isn’t submitting the hate crimes it investigates to its own database. “We truly don’t understand what’s happening with crime in the U.S. without the federal component,” Blasher said in an interview. At present, the bulk of the information in the database is supplied by state and local police departments. In 2015, the database tracked more than 5,580 alleged hate crime incidents, including 257 targeting Muslims, an upward surge of 67 percent from the previous year. (The bureau hasn’t released 2016 or 2017 statistics yet.) But it’s long been clear that hundreds of local police departments don’t send data to the FBI, and so given the added lack of participation by federal law enforcement, the true numbers for 2015 are likely to be significantly higher. A federal law, the 1988 Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act, requires all U.S. government law enforcement agencies to send a wide variety of crime data to the FBI. Two years later, after the passage of another law, the bureau began collecting data about “crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” That was later expanded to include gender and gender identity. The federal agencies that are not submitting data are violating the law, Blasher told us. She said she’s in contact with about 20 agencies and is hopeful that some will start participating, but added that there is no firm timeline for that to happen. “Honestly, we don’t know how long it will take,”Blasher said of the effort to get federal agencies on board. The issue goes far beyond hate crimes federal agencies are failing to report a whole range of crime statistics, Blasher conceded. But hate crimes, and the lack of reliable data concerning them, have been of intense interest amid the country’s highly polarized and volatile political environment. ProPublica contacted several federal agencies seeking an explanation. A spokesperson for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, which handles close to 50,000 offenses annually, said the service is adhering to Defense Department rules regarding crime data and is using a digital crime tracking system linked to the FBI’s database. But the Army declined to say whether its statistics are actually being sent to the FBI, referring that question up the chain of command to the Department of Defense. In 2014, an internal probe conducted by Defense Department investigators found that the “DoD is not reporting criminal incident data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in the annual Uniform Crime Reports.” ProPublica contacted the Defense Department for clarification, and shared with a department spokesman a copy of the 2014 reports acknowledging the failure to send data to the FBI. “We have no additional information at this time,” said Christopher Sherwood, the spokesman. Federal agencies are hardly the only ones to skip out on reporting hate crimes. An Associated Press investigation last year found at least 2,700 city police and county sheriff’s departments that repeatedly failed to report hate crimes to the FBI. In the case of the FBI itself, Blasher said the issue is largely technological: Agents have long collected huge amounts of information about alleged hate crimes, but don’t have a digital system to easily input that information to the database, which is administered by staff at an FBI complex in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Since Blasher began pushing to modernize the FBI’s data systems, the bureau has made some progress. It began compiling some limited hate crimes statistics for 2014 and 2015, though that information didn’t go into the national hate crimes database. In Washington, lawmakers were surprised to learn about the failure by federal agencies to abide by the law. “It’s fascinating and very disturbing,” said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who said he wanted to speak about the matter with the FBI’s government affairs team. He wants to see federal agencies “reporting hate crimes as soon as possible.” Beyer and other lawmakers have been working in recent years to improve the numbers of local police agencies participating in voluntary hate crime reporting efforts. Bills pending in Congress would give out grants to police forces to upgrade their computer systems; in exchange, the departments would begin uploading hate crime data to the FBI. Beyer, who is sponsoring the House bill, titled the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act, said he would consider drafting new legislation to improve hate crimes reporting by federal agencies, or try to build such a provision into the appropriations bill. “The federal government needs to lead by example. It’s not easy to ask local and state governments to submit their data if these 120 federal agencies aren’t even submitting hate crimes data to the database,” Beyer said. In the Senate, Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota said the federal agencies need to do better. “I’ve long urged the FBI and the Department of Justice to improve the tracking and reporting of hate crimes by state and local law enforcement agencies,” Franken told ProPublica. “But in order to make sure we understand the full scope of the problem, the federal government must also do its part to ensure that we have accurate and trustworthy data.” Virginia’s Barbara Comstock, a House Republican who authored a resolution in April urging the “Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal agencies to work to improve the reporting of hate crimes,” did not respond to requests for comment. ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

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June 24, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed

Why are we so slow to call hate crimes for what they are? – The Boston Globe

Family members cry during a vigil for Nabra Hassanen on June 21 in Reston, Virginia. Why have police so quickly dismissed the possibility that Nabra Hassanens murder was a hate crime? For their own inscrutable reasons, Virginia law enforcement officials claim that road rage, not hate, was the motive in the Muslim teens killing. Last Sunday morning, Hassanen and a group of friends were returning to a mosque when they got into a verbal dispute with a motorist, a man whom police identify as Darwin Martinez Torres. Advertisement Chasing the teens, the motorist drove his car onto the curb, authorities say; when Hassanen tripped, the man reportedly knocked her unconscious with a metal baseball bat and dragged her into his car. She was later found dead in a pond. Police say she suffered blunt-force trauma to her upper body, and there have been reports that she may have been sexually assaulted. Get This Week in Opinion in your inbox: Globe Opinion’s must-reads, delivered to you every Sunday. Yet authorities quickly ruled out hate crime charges against Torres. It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence, Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Police Department, said at a news conference. When a gunman kills a stranger in public, its news; when he kills his wife or girlfriend, we overlook it. That just doesnt sound right. The level of violence seems disproportionate to an act of road rage. Fury might have prompted the suspect to pursue the teens some of whom fled on foot, others on bikes but everything that occured after Hassanen fell hints at a level of pathology beyond just an angry driver. At a time when bias-based attacks are on the rise, authorities seem increasingly reluctatnt to use the term hate crime. Perhaps they find the words too incendiary, as if uttering the phrase were as damaging as the crime itself. Most hate crimes target people of color, Muslims and Jews, and members of the LGBT community, and officials might prefer to treat such acts as isolated incidents rather than as the product of deeper prejudices. A hate-crime designation has to pass a gauntlet of qualifications unlike terrorism, a similarly provocative term that, all too often, is hastily deployed based on the religion of the perpetrator rather than on the facts of the crime. Advertisement Calling Hassanens death a hate crime wont change its pointlessness or brutality, but doing so would give it a specificity that defining it as an act of road rage lacks. The very term hate crime brands a malicious act for what it is and whom it targets, spurring greater vigilance and awareness. Under certain federal and state laws, hate crime convictions can also lead to increased jail time. For persecuted groups, such charges publicly validate what theyve experienced all along. As it happens, Islamophobia isnt the only form of hate that might have motivated Hassanens killer. She may also have been murdered because she was female reports of possible sexual violence may point in that direction and that would also constitute a hate crime. As defined by law, hate crimes are motivated by bias based on the victims race, color, religion, or national origin. In 2009, the passage of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act added actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or gender to that list. Still, even though gender is covered, crimes that target women, such as sexual or domestic violence, are never defined as hate crimes even though women are regularly singled out as victims because of their gender. Clearly, some have no issue with how hate crime laws are applied when it pertains to law enforcement officers. Louisianas Blue Lives Matter law gives police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel protected status under that states hate crime law. One Louisiana police chief even asserted that anyone resisting arrest should be charged with a hate crime, which could bump a misdemeanor up to a felony. Yet being a police officer, who can change professions or take off his uniform, isnt the same as being a Muslim, African-American or a woman groups who have been historically targeted for who they are, not what they do. Thats why in the streets, in the home, or anywhere else, a crime motivated by hate should always be called out for exactly what it is.

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June 24, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed


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