On the heels of last week’s call by FBI Director James Comey for local law enforcement to better track hate crimes in their localities, the FBI released additional data to supplement its 2012 hate crime report. (Each year’s report tracks hate crimes from the previous year and is published in the late fall.)
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), data from a number of cities in Texas, the City of Boston, the entire state of New Jersey, and Louisville, Kentucky, have been added to the report. The effort is limited to law enforcement agencies in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Texas that were unable to submit their hate crime data in time to meet the FBI’s publication deadline. The move, however, is unprecedented and confirms what HRC and other advocacy organizations have argued, namely, that last year’s report was filled with significant underreporting.
Boston, with a total of 43 incidents, added to the list the most number of hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity. With Massachusetts set to celebrate the tenth anniversary of same-sex couples being able to legally wed next week, these numbers are a stark reminder that we still have much more work to do just to ensure that people can walk down the street without fearing attack for being who they are.
Along with ADL, we will continue to work with the FBI and coalition partners to ensure that local law enforcement provide the FBI with an accurate picture of hate crimes in the FBI’s 2013 report.