This Shadow Report lays out the context under which the U.S. government has failed to protect minority communities from hate crimes through a combination of inadequate data collection, limited training of law enforcement to investigate and document hate crimes, and the failure to devote resources to monitor domestic extremists with supremacist ideologies.
Under the current Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), only 3% percent of all hate crimes are documented through the UCR Program. In 2012, the UCR reported 7,713 victims of hate crimes, whereas, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reported on average 259,700 hate crimes a year from 2007-2011. The 34 fold gap in documenting hate crimes reveals systemic flaws that result in the government failing to devote adequate resources: to train police officers in properly identifying bias indicators in crime, to monitor domestic hate groups rather than disproportionately focusing on Islamic extremism, and to protect particularly vulnerable communities from hate crimes.
According to NCVS, 65% of all hate crime victimizations are never reported to the police. Many of the reasons stem from mistrust of law enforcement to: investigate their claim thoroughly, prosecute the case as a hate crime, prevent retaliation, and not use their position to deport victims who lack legal immigrant status. Moreover, as there is no federal mandate to ensure recording of hate crimes by local law enforcement jurisdictions, reporting is voluntary. As a result of the combination of voluntary reporting with a failure to adequately train police officers to identify bias indicators in crime, there is little chance that the scope of violence directed at vulnerable communities will be understood. Ultimately, the culture of a police department can be a strong determinant on whether hate crimes documentation is seen by police officers as necessary to protect vulnerable communities or functions to support the agendas of gay and minority groups.
Although mandating documentation of hate crimes is a priority at the local level, there are other factors that can help bridge the gap. Revitalization of Hate Crimes Task Forces that engage with civil society and communities in partnership can function as a strong bulwark against bias motivated crime. Additionally, implementing hate crimes investigating and reporting procedures
into Patrol Guides (police officer manual) would enhance hate crimes documentation. Unfortunately, the failure to properly document hate crimes is compounded by the federal
government’s limited monitoring of domestic hate groups.