Responding to Hate The Role of Human or Civil Rights Commissions in Hate Crime Response Roles and Community Response • The responsibility of investigating a reported hate crime belongs to law enforcement. • The responsibility of charging and prosecuting the offenders belongs to the prosecuting attorney. • The role of facilitating a proper response can belong to a local Human Rights or Civil Rights Commission (HRC). Why a response is important • Silence means acceptance – If we do not respond to hate crime, we send a message to the victim and perpetrator that intolerance is okay. • A report released by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney General in 2001 indicates that many hate crimes are escalations of other incidents that do not get a proper response (Ashcroft, 5). • A U.S. Department of Justice 2005 study of hate crime reporting indicates that only about 40% of all bias motivated incidents are reported to authorities (Harlow, 2). Iowa Demographic Outlook • The population of Iowa is very rapidly becoming more diverse. – The Latino-American population has increased by 30% since 2000 – The Asian-American community has grown by 19% – African American community has grown by nearly 10% – Estimates project that by 2010, 90% of all new growth in Iowa will be attributed to minority groups. Hate Crime Trends • African Americans are the most frequent victims of hate crime in Iowa, accounting for nearly 60% of reported hate crime victims. Homosexual men are the second most targeted group (Iowa DPS). • Hate Crime against Latinos nationally is up 30% in the last 5 years (FBI). – Latinos account for the largest and fastest growing minority in Iowa. • The number of annually reported hate crimes in Iowa is around 30, except for a jump in 2002 when 48 hate incidents were reported (Iowa DPS). Hate Crime in Iowa A sample of Hate Crime in Iowa for 2007: – Des Moines (Assault) Jassimen Dobbins and Angela Wade, both 19, were charged with first-degree burglary and third-degree arson for allegedly beating a gay teenager with a bottle, stabbing him with a fork, and stealing $5, his ATM card and his driver's license before setting his bag on fire. – Ottumwa (Criminal Mischief) Matthew A. Lanman, 17, was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime for allegedly hanging a dead opossum and a note insulting Blacks and Latinos in a school bathroom. – Marshalltown (Vandalism, Theft) Racial slurs and graffiti were spray painted and the family’s Christmas presents stolen at the home of a minority family supporting Barack Obama. – Cedar Rapids (Vandalism) Racial Slurs, swastikas, and threats including a hangman’s platform and the words “Leave Now” were painted on the home of a couple living on SW Mallory Street on Christmas Eve. Elements of an Effective Response • Reporting – Reported to local law enforcement, or authority for investigation. – Receiving and/or publicizing reports from law enforcement of bias related incidents. • Victim Support – Reassurance, safety, and listening • Developing a list of procedures or do’s and don’ts – Connecting to resources • Iowa Attorney General’s Victim Assistance Program – Assessing needs (Medical, Emotional, et cetera) • Public Denunciation – Action that condemns the hate crime, takes a position against intolerance, supports the targeted community – Should be proportionate to the crime What a Human or Civil Rights Commission can do • Open up a dialogue with community partners such as law enforcement, city officials, organizations and schools about networking against bias. – Sharing incident reports • Law enforcement can notify HRC or City, set up communication chain with other community stakeholders – Work with schools on combating bias and hate. • Many universities have bias response teams (UNI) • Work with community schools to enforce the Safe Schools Law – Discuss obtaining training on hate crimes such as is offered by the US DOJ Community Relations Service (see resources). • Law Enforcement – Discuss establishing a response plan and policy • Similar to fire plan Best Practices - Cities • Advocate to the city council to create a statement and proclamation to support social and racial tolerance and end bigotry. – Oak Park, Illinois • Create a pledge to diversity or racial justice and encourage people or business to sign on. – Beloit, Wisconsin • Establishing and publishing a hate crime response plan. – Fargo, ND; Edina, MN; Shoreview MN • Start a bias crime network or task force – Flint, Michigan Best Practice Hate Crime Network or Task Force • Some cities have established a “network” against bias. – Incorporates all the elements of hate crime response. – Consists of representatives of community stakeholders such as schools, city government, civic organizations. • Set goals to facilitate hate crime reporting. – Sharing incident reports with other organizations. • In the incident of a hate crime, they will have someone available to contact and support the victim. • Would determine and plan an appropriate public response. Public Response • Develop a Toolkit • Iowa Civil Rights Commission Toolkit Promotion and Prevention • Schools • Safe schools law • Student project resources • Community Projects • Community project resources • Distributing Information and Educating • Brochures, news articles about laws and victim resources Resources • Anti-Defamation League – Blueprint for combating bias and hate crime – Regional Office: Omaha, Nebraska • Southern Poverty Law Center – Intelligence Report – Tolerance.org • Stopthehate.org – Campus Hate Crime Resource • U.S. Dept. of Justice – Community Relations Service – Regional Office: Kansas City, MO • Statistics – FBI Uniform Crime Report – Iowa Department of Public Safety Uniform Crime Report Sources • Ashcroft, John; Daniels, Deborah J.; Nedelkoff, Richard R. Hate Crime on Campus: The problem and efforts to confront it. Bureau of Justice Assistance. October, 2001. • FBI Uniform Crime Report, 2006. • Iowa Department of Public Safety Uniform Crime Report, 2005. • Harlow, Caroline Wolf. Hate Crime Reported by Victims and Police. Bureau of Justice Statistics. November 2005. • Lockyer, Bill. Reporting Hate Crimes. California Attorney General’s Office. 2003.