Since 1990, the FBI has been collecting and reporting hate crime data, required by the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 (HCSA). The FBI’s most recent data reveal an increase in reported incidents and an historically-high number of hate-motivated murders in 2019. These trends are particularly worrying because fewer law enforcement agencies provided data to the FBI in 2019 than in 2018. While the FBI HCSA data provides the best national snapshot of bias-motivated criminal activity in America, it is clearly incomplete: in addition to non-reporting jurisdictions, in 2019, more than 70 cities with populations over 100,000 unrealistically reported zero (0) hate crimes to the FBI.
The National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act, (H.R. 2383) is led by Rep. Donald Beyer, Jr. (D-VA). The companion Senate legislation, the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act, was sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in the 116th Congress. This legislation would authorize incentive grants to spark improved local and state hate crime training, prevention, best practices, and data collection initiatives and make grants available for state hate crime reporting hotlines to direct individuals to local law enforcement and support services.
Studies have shown that more comprehensive, complete hate crime reporting can deter hate violence and advance police-community relations through training local law enforcement personnel.