The Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act

Posted on August 09, 2019 in Action Alerts

We need better hate crime data and we need it now.


Under the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, the federal government collects data on hate crimes reported by law enforcement agencies across the country. Each year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes the data in an annual report.

According to the most recent edition of the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics report, which was published in November 2018 and based on 2017 data, law enforcement agencies reported 7,175 hate crime incidents. This marked a 17 percent increase from 2016 and the third year in a row that more hate crimes were reported than the previous year. 

While the FBI’s annual hate crime statistics provide the best picture of hate crime in our communities, they remain seriously inaccurate. According to U.S. Department of Justice, the actual number of hate crimes that occur each year could be over 30 times greater than what is reflected in federal statistics. Even the most overt acts of hate violence, such as the 2016 murder of Khalid Jabara in Tulsa, Okla., and the 2017 murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Va., have gone unreported.

 

These glaring omissions underscore the need for better hate crime data. In June 2019, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act (S.2043). Along with companion legislation (H.R.3545) introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Don Beyer (D-VA) and Pete Olson (R-TX), the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act represents a critical step toward better hate crime data, and with that, a more effective response to hate crime in our communities.