Federal officials have recorded the highest level of hate crimes since the 1990s, according to a FBI report released on Monday (Nov. 16).
The report states that anti-Latino crime rose from 527 in 2019, from 485 in 2018, which includes the horrific shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, where the shooter was specifically targeting Latinos. Twenty-two people were killed and at least two dozen others were injured. Previous data showed an increase in hate crimes against Latinos of about 41% since Trump took office.
Some experts cite the rise to better reporting by law enforcement agencies, a dedicated effort after a report in 2016 found that over 2,700 city police and county sheriff’s departments across the country had not submitted a single hate crime report for the FBI’s annual crime tally during the previous six years. The Anti-Defamation League, among other advocacy groups, have called on Congress and law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to improve data collection and reporting of hate crimes.
In a statement released by the president of Anti-Defamation league, Jonathan Greenblatt states, “The total severity of the impact and damage caused by hate crimes cannot be fully measured without complete participation in the FBI’s data collection process.” According to the results of the FBI report, only 2,172 law enforcement agencies out of about 15,000 participating agencies across the country reported hate crime data to the FBI.
Greenblatt’s statement also noted, that in order to achieve more accurate reporting that the law enforcement in the United States must “remove the barriers that too often prevent people in marginalized communities – the individuals most likely to suffer hate crimes – from reporting hate-based incidents.”