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Under a federal law passed in 1990, the FBI is required to track and tabulate crimes in which there was “manifest evidence of prejudice” against a host of protected groups, including homosexuals, regardless of differences in how state laws define who’s protected. The FBI, in turn, relies on local law enforcement agencies to collect and submit this data, but can’t compel them to do so.
The evidence suggests that many police agencies across the country are not working very hard to count hate crimes. Thousands of them opt not to participate in the FBI’s hate crime program at all. Among the 15,000 that do, some 88 percent reported they had no hate crimes; federal records indicate that the Huntsville Police Department has never reported a hate crime.
According to Brian Levin, a former New York City police officer who studies hate crimes, some law enforcement agencies lack a commitment from the top to properly investigate such incidents and collect data on them.
“You have to have a combination of training, executive leadership, and some kind of infrastructure that is sustained and continuing,” Levin said.
Read the complete article at “Why America fails at gathering hate crime statistics.”