Press Releases

Beyer Urges Passage of NO HATE Act After FBI Data Shows Increase In Hate Crimes

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Washington, November 14, 2017 | comments

Rep. Don Beyer today called for swift House passage of his bill, the NO HATE Act, after the FBI released hate crime statistics for 2016, which showed a rise in bias crimes in the United States for the second consecutive year. The legislation, sponsored in the Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), would give law enforcement across the country additional tools to track and fight hate crimes.

“The FBI statistics released this week show another disturbing rise in hate crimes in the United States, a trend which Congress must address with swift passage of the NO HATE Act,” said Rep. Beyer. “Following two years in a row of rising hate crimes, 2017 has seen horrific incidents of hate-fueled violence in Kansas, Oregon, the University of Maryland, Charlottesville, Virginia, and elsewhere. The problem of hate in this country is growing, urgent, and requires prompt action from Congress.”

The NO HATE Act, which has 59 cosponsors in the House and 17 in the Senate, would help combat the recent surge in hate crimes by:

Helping Victims Seek Justice in the Courts: This law will establish a federal private right of action for hate crimes, offering victims of hate crimes the option to fight for remedies in civil court, and ensuring that everyone—even in states without hate crime laws on the books—can have his or her day in court. Although Connecticut has a state private right of action, most states do not.

Improving Reporting of Hate Crimes: This law will improve reporting of hate crimes by supporting the implementation of and training for NIBRS, the latest crime reporting standard, in law enforcement agencies without it. This will allow law enforcement agencies to record and report detailed information about crimes, including hate crimes, to the FBI. Between 2009 and 2015, 17 percent of all law enforcement agencies failed to file a single hate crimes report, and in some states, a majority of law enforcement agencies failed to file a single hate crime report over the same period. Helping law enforcement agencies recognize and report detailed information on hate crimes and report that data to the FBI will help establish a clear picture of the threats that vulnerable communities are facing across the country.

Establishing Hate Crime Hotlines: This law will provide grants for states to establish and run hate crime hotlines, to record information about hate crimes, and to redirect victims and witnesses to law enforcement and local support services as needed. This will make sure that hate crimes don’t go unreported and victims get the help that they need. New York and Maryland established hate crime hotlines in November.

Rehabilitating Perpetrators of Hate Crimes through Education and Community Service: This law will allow for judges to require individuals convicted under federal hate crime laws to undergo community service or education centered on the community targeted by the crime.

Text of the bill is available here.

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