Final Essay Hate/Bias Crime Project Re-Edited
A hate crime (sometimes termed bias crime) is defined in the dictionary as ‘any among various crimes which when motivated by hostility to the victim as a member of a group (as one based on color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation).’ The US Department of Justice administered Uniform Crime Reports Program (UCR), through The Federal Bureau of Investigation, defined hate crimes as acts of violence motivated by race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin. (Clark, Trevor civilrights.org)
How will a crime become a hate crime? For it to become a hate crime, the offender’s criminal act must have been motivated, in whole or in part, by their bias against one’s race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability with an intention to hurt or even just act of intimidation. A hate incident, while not a crime in itself, is an expression of bias. Somebody committing hate incidents unchallenged often heightened their actions into more violent hate crimes.
There are five (5) major bias nature of motivation in hate crimes so far identified, with each further classified into bias types of motivation. According to the Department of Justice latest FBI-UCR released, among five major bias natures, first on the rank is Racial (54.7 %), followed by Religion (17.1 %), then Sexual Orientation (14.2 %), fourthly, Ethnicity/National Origin (13.2 %), and lastly, Disability (0.7 %). (Hate Crime Statistics 2005)
Racial bias nature is classified into bias types such as Anti-Black, Anti-Asian/Pacific Islander, Anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native, Anti-White, and Anti-Multi-Racial Group.
Sexually-Oriented bias nature is classified into bias types like Anti-Male & Female Homosexual, Anti-Heterosexual and Anti-Bisexual.
Religion bias nature is classified into bias types such as Anti-Jewish, Anti-Islamic (Moslem), Anti-Protestant, Anti-Catholic, Anti-Atheist/Agnostic and anti-other religion.
Ethnicity or National-Origin bias nature is classified into bias types as Anti-Arab, Anti-Hispanic, and Anti-other Ethnic/National origin.
Disability bias nature is classified into either Anti-Mental Disability or Anti-Physical Disability bias types.
HATE CRIMES INVESTIGATION & CONTROL/ REPORTING & TRACKING
The Community Relations Service (CRS), under the US Department of Justice, is a specialized Federal conciliation service for State and local officials for resolving and preventing hate crimes related incidents. It has no authority to enforce the law, does not investigate nor prosecute cases. (US-DOJ Community Relations Service) However, CRS recommends the following “best practices” in the prevention of hate crimes:
· Government’s established Hate Crime ordinances as deterrent;
· Majority and minority group communication and interaction;
· Coalitions of various organizational groups recommending and endorsing initiatives;
· Policy of Inclusion/Participation to Increase Confidence in Government;
· Schools and Police Working Together (in developing a plan to handle and diffuse racial tensions);
· Temporary Rumor Control and Verification Center (to handle exaggerated rumors that fuel racial tensions and conflict);
· Media as Helpful Ally ( single-point-of-contact for hate crime information through accurate, thorough, and responsible reporting);
· Community leaders consultation during Policing transition period;
· Shared information & combined resources of multi-jurisdictional/regional task forces;
· Accurate reporting and standardized investigation of hate crimes incidents; and
· Counseling programs for the Victims, Witness and offenders
A model policy, supported by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, is being adopted by local enforcement agencies on matters of reporting and investigating hate/bias crimes. When the Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) in 1990, as later amended by the Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996, the FBI was designated to conceptualize a uniformed hate/bias crime definition and standardized its reporting system. Thereafter, this definition and reporting system became the local enforcement agencies’ model policy. As further support to officers and administrators, the FBI, upon request, can conduct training on matters concerning this model policy. Based on this model policy, the FBI has been endorsing a two-fold hate crime information gathering and reporting system for precision purposes. The process involves: (1) a first officer on the alleged bias crime scene initially determining if bias motivation is “suspected”; and (2) a second, more bias-matters-expert officer or unit finally determining whether a hate crime has actually occurred.
If ever hate crimes escalated into community-wide tensions or posed threats to racial and ethnic relations, CRS extends five types of services such as (1) Mediation and Conciliation, (2) Technical Assistance on policies, practices, and procedures, (3) Training sessions and workshops, (4) Public Education and Awareness, and (5) Event Contingency Planning. (US-DOJ Community Relations Service)
METHOD TO DEVELOP POLICE GREATER CULTURAL-SENSITIVITY
In addition to various programs developed by different federal law enforcement agencies to enhance ‘community policing’ approach and improve Police-Community relations such as Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect Program (CPRP), Enhance Precinct Community Councils, Citizens Police Academy, Cultural Diversity Workshops, Model Block Program, and Clergy Liaison Program (Chapter 3, Police-Community Relations) to name a few, I believed there are other innovative ways that will help police officers develop greater cultural sensitivity.
Various USDOJ agencies, spearheaded by CRS and the FBI are working closely with the Treasury’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Agency, the National Association of Attorneys General and the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, for the creation of an updated hate crime training curricula model. Initially conceived as four model, these training curricula will contain the best components (policies, procedures, practices and materials) specially designed for patrol, investigating, supervising and multilevel audience officers to enable them with knowledge and skills necessary for the identification, reporting, investigation and prosecution, as well as education, of hate crime incidents. However, the trainings are projected to be available still by November, 1998.
In relation to these hate crime training curricula, one method that can be adopted to improve current modules and existing paradigms is by designing culturally-sensitive curricula developed through participatory, consultative involvement of different racial group’s authority on cultural sensitivity. Sensitivity expert from each racial group can either be recruited locally or internationally through the help of different US consulates and embassies or through concerned government trans-national inter-agency cooperation. With this developed cultural-sensitive curricula, new breeds of would-be-graduates law enforcer will become more adoptable in their service of duty.
Alternately, a potential trainor from each law enforcement agency could be immersed to the intended racial or ethnic group populace to study their culture and idiosyncrasies and later develop cultural-sensitive training manuals. Better yet, if viable, periodic visit or immersion into native lands of subject racial groups would further give valuable supplemental inputs. In this way, trainors’ imparted competencies and expertise to law enforcer trainees would be more realistic and attuned to the need of time.
ANALYSIS ON U.S. POLICE PERFORMANCE AND PUBLISHED INCIDENTS
The ever growing trends on web/internet information gathering and opinion sharing have contributed a lot to increasing awareness on hate/bias crimes for almost all stakeholders. Though news can be perceived subjectively, more frequent and widely publicized incidents of police misconducts has a seemingly converse negative effect on law enforcement image among the citizenry, detrimental to their pursuit of duty.
Though the latest FBI-UCR for 2005 reveals a decrease in the total number of reported hate crimes in the US, it has been under fire from some Human Rights Group as they found its statistics revealing some of the largest cities in America failed to report their hate crimes, prompting them to call the statistics “incomplete.”
Proponents of these extreme scenarios of over-exaggerated bad news releases and under-rated, relevant statistical figures, have their purposely motives. In most instances, especially on pre-election period, politicians, with their vested interests, tend to exploit and capitalized on these media hype; and make it work to their advantage. Nonetheless, whatever the perception maybe on these news, further option for deeper examination on the details and challenge to their validity, still, remain subjective.
Clark, Trevor; civilrights.org Nov 02, 2006 12:00 AM EST
Siasoco, Rico V.;Defining Hate Crimes; No longer a Black and White Issue
Hate-Crime.Net; Hate Crime Information and Statistics
Hate Crime 2003 Hate Crime Bias Motivation
US Department of Justice – FBI; Hate Crime Statistics 2005
www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2005/ – 10k –
US Department of Justice – FBI, Crime in the United States 2004
US Department of Justice – Community Relations Service
National Crime Prevention Council; Strategy: Raising Cultural Awareness
Police Practices and Civil Rights in New York City, Police Community Relations