The Colorado Coalition Against Hate, a statewide coalition led by the ADL Mountain States Region, and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced plans on Nov. 18 to launch a public-private partnership to address an increase in hate crimes in Colorado. The announcement came less than a week after the FBI’s annual hate crime report recorded a 16% increase in hate crimes between 2017 and 2018 in the state, while the number of reported cases nationwide slightly decreased.
The public-private partnership will focus on three primary areas: training for law enforcement, improving reporting by victims and law enforcement agencies, and providing resources to frequently targeted groups.
“We will not tolerate the targeting of individuals with hate simply because of who they are or how they pray,” said Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General. “The Attorney General’s Office will do all it can to ensure law enforcement agencies are responding effectively to an increase in hate incidents and crimes in Colorado.”
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office will work with the Colorado Coalition Against Hate (formerly Mountain States Against Hate), a diverse group of community partners. The coalition, which includes 18 civil rights and advocacy organizations, was formed in 2017 to counter hate crimes in Colorado by educating the public about hate crimes and partnering with law enforcement to improve incident response and reporting.
“It is encouraging that the state’s chief legal officer is providing leadership and responding to an increased number of hate crimes in Colorado,” said Scott Levin, Regional Director for ADL’s Mountain States Region. “Studies have shown that more comprehensive and complete hate crime reporting can deter hate violence. Better data will assist in properly allocating police and community resources. Most importantly, improved reporting can advance police-community relations.”
As part of the collaboration, the Colorado Coalition Against Hate released a Hate Crime Resource Guide to assist victims of hate crimes, as well as the organizations that support them.
Additionally, the Attorney General’s Office, Colorado District Attorneys’ Council and the Coalition designed and conducted a training for Colorado prosecutors on Nov. 15 as part of the effort to expand law enforcement training. Nearly 30 prosecutors from 10 of the 22 judicial districts in Colorado participated in the training, as well as five of the state’s elected district attorneys, who came from as far away as Durango, Eagle and Fort Collins.
The members of the Colorado Coalition Against Hate are:
- American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU-CO)
- American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
- Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region (ADL)
- Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC)
- The Center on Colfax
- Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition
- Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC)
- Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO)
- Colorado Resilience Collaborative
- Colorado Sikhs
- Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
- Matthew Shepard Foundation
- Meet the Middle East
- Multicultural Mosaic Foundation
- NAACP – Aurora Branch
- NAACP CO-MT-Wyoming State Conference
- One Colorado
- Out Boulder County
Law Enforcement Partners:
- Colorado Attorney General’s Office
- Denver District Attorney’s Office
- Denver Police Department
- FBI – Denver Field Office