The FBI's training manual says its yearly collection of hate crimes data results in "greater awareness and understanding of the true dimensions of the problem nationwide." But a state-by-state analysis by The Associated Press finds that the picture presented in the FBI's official tally is far from complete.
The AP analysis has identified roughly 2,800 city and county law enforcement agencies across the country that have not filed a single hate crime report with the FBI during the past six years, which represents 17 percent of all such agencies nationwide. The analysis also found that thousands of other departments filed reports only sporadically.
Why does it matter? A better accounting of hate crimes, proponents say, would not only increase awareness but also force state and federal lawmakers to dedicate more money and resources to law enforcement training and community outreach.
A multimedia package that includes embargoed data for customer localizations is moving for use on Sunday, June 5. AP customers are being emailed the link to the spreadsheets and a separate link to a webinar that answers questions about the project and the data.
The Counting Hate package also will include a graphic and video.
The stories described below moved in advance Wednesday on an embargoed basis. They will then move for immediate use at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
For questions about the project, contact AP State Government Editor Tom Verdin at [email protected] For specific questions about the data, contact AP data journalist Michelle Minkoff at [email protected]
BOGALUSA, La. — An investigation by The Associated Press has identified almost 2,800 city police and county sheriff's departments across the country that have not filed a single hate crime report to the FBI during the past six years — about 17 percent of all city and county law enforcement agencies nationwide. Thousands of others file those reports only sporadically. Advocates worry that the lack of a comprehensive annual accounting allows society to overlook the extent of racism and other bias at a time of heightened racial, religious and ethnic tensions. By Christina A. Cassidy. UPCOMING: 2,800 words. Photos. Video. Graphic. An abridged version also is moving.
— BC-US--Counting Hate-Q&A, questions and answers about the federal reporting system and the local law enforcement agencies that are not filing the reports. UPCOMING: 800 words.
— BC-US--County Hate-Sheriffs, the FBI encourages all local law enforcement agencies with sworn officers who have arrest powers to file hate crime reports. That applies to county sheriff's offices and departments, even though their responsibilities vary from state to state. UPCOMING: 250 words.
COUNTING HATE-METRO ATLANTA
ATLANTA — Atlanta and its suburbs represent one of the most densely populated and diverse regions of the country, where law enforcement agencies might be expected to file reports regularly with the FBI. Yet that doesn't happen when it comes to hate crimes. While some of the agencies in the metropolitan area are rigorous in filing annual hate crime reports with the FBI, others are not, filing in some years but not others. The sporadic nature of hate crime reporting among law enforcement agencies in a metropolitan area of 5.5 million people underscores the difficulties the FBI faces in trying to draw a comprehensive picture of hate crimes across the U.S. By Christina A. Cassidy. UPCOMING: 700 words. Photos.