WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite growing awareness of hate crimes, the share of those crimes reported to police has fallen in recent years as more victims of violent attacks express doubt that police can or will help.
Nearly 2 of 3 hate crimes go unreported to police, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reported Thursday. For the years 2003-06, 46 percent of hate crimes were reported to police. But more recently, for 2007-11, just 35 percent were reported.
There was an increase in the percentage of victims of violent hate crimes who didn’t report the crime because they believed the police could not or would not help, from 14 percent in 2003-06 to 24 percent in 2007-11, the bureau said.
“It’s shocking to see that much of an increase in the feeling of futility that hate crime victims are apparently experiencing,” Jason Marsden, the executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, said in an interview. Shepard, a gay college student, was killed in a 1998 attack that police said was motivated in part by his sexual orientation. His parents started the foundation.
Hate groups are becoming increasingly violent, which raises the possibility that victims are afraid to report the acts to police out of fear of reprisal, said Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation, the nation’s oldest police research organization.
Among various studies that point to rising violence in hate crimes, the statistics bureau found a growing percentage of violent hate crimes as opposed to property crimes. Violence accounted for 84 percent of the hate crimes during 2003-06 but rose to 92 percent during 2007-11. This comes as the Southern Poverty Law Center reports that it has identified more than 1,000 organized hate groups in each of the last three years, compared with 600 to 700 such groups in the period 2000-02.
The decline in reporting disclosed in the statistics bureau’s new study comes despite increasing attention paid to the subject of hate crime by police and community groups.
“What’s surprising about this is that knowledge of hate crimes is far more prevalent across the country than it ever has been at any time in our history,” Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, said in an interview. The forum is a Washington police research organization.
Congress has defined a hate crime as a criminal offense motivated by bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
The data in the latest report comes primarily from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which has been collecting information on crimes motivated by hate since 2003. The statistics bureau is able to gauge the percentage of crimes that go unreported to police because its victimization survey is based on a large, representative sample of Americans interviewed annually by the Census Bureau about their experiences with crime and responses to it.
The Police Foundation’s Bueermann said there is an increased sensitivity on the part of police to the devastating nature of hate crime.
“I certainly saw that in my career,” said Bueermann, who spent 33 years as a Southern California police officer, 13 of them as a police chief.
“If those statistics are accurate, then police chiefs have to focus on the issue of why the members of their communities believe that the police aren’t willing to investigate,” Bueermann said. “I think this underscores the importance of police chiefs repeating these messages over and over and over” urging victims to report hate crimes.
The study found during 2007-11 an estimated annual average of 259,700 hate crimes against people age 12 or older.
The percentage of hate crimes motivated by religious bias more than doubled between 2003-06 and 2007-11 — from 10 percent to 21 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage motivated by racial bias dropped from 63 percent to 54 percent.
In the years 2007-11, whites, blacks and Hispanics had similar rates of violent hate crime victimization.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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