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Beyer Statement On FBI Hate Crimes Data And Briefing

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), author of the bipartisan Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which was signed into law in 2021, today issued the following statement after receiving an FBI briefing in the Capitol yesterday on the FBI’s annual release of hate crime statistics compiled through the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS):

“The FBI hate crimes data and the briefing which presented them to Members of Congress were extremely disappointing – not just in the level of bias crimes they reported, but in the large number of departments that failed to report any data at all.

“I wrote the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act to help improve coordination between federal, state, and local agencies on the reporting of hate crimes. Congress passed it into law in hopes that this would strengthen America’s response to the growing scourge of anti-AAPI hate, anti-Semitism, and white supremacist violence.

“We still are not seeing the progress we want on the law’s larger goals of coordinating a better, data-driven response to prevent hate crimes. The 2021 data are disappointingly incomplete, and the Justice Department must be transparent about the shortcomings of the picture these statistics provide, and step up outreach to local jurisdictions to encourage the standardization of NIBRS reporting.

“Every law enforcement division at the local, state, and federal level should be reporting hate crimes through NIBRS. Congress clearly spelled this out in a bipartisan law, and provided money to help departments transition to using the system. If Congress continues to see woefully insufficient reporting of hate crimes data, we should revisit the issue with additional legislation to again strengthen the national response to crimes of bias.”