The Department of Justice released a report Thursday looking into hate crimes between 2004 and 2015. The DOJ reported that 54 percent of hate crimes between 2011 and 2015 were never reported.
The report included information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey. Attorney General Jeff Sessions created the Hate Crimes Subcommittee in April to focus on the issue.
“(It) will develop a plan to appropriately address hate crimes to better protect the rights of all Americans,” Sessions said in April. “We must also protect the civil rights of all Americans, and we will not tolerate threats or acts of violence targeting any person or community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs or background.”
As a senator, Sessions disagreed with a 2009 law signed by former President Barack Obama called the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Shepard was a 21-year-old murdered in Laramie Wyoming, allegedly for being gay.
The report details that 23 percent of hate crime victims don’t report to police because they believe authorities “would not want to be bothered or to get involved, would be inefficient or ineffective, or would cause trouble for the victim.”
According to the report, 90 percent of hate crimes are violent and that 30 percent of hate crimes involved reports of sexual assault, aggravated assault and/or robbery. Violent crimes represented only a quarter of overall crime in the same period by comparison. One-quarter of violent hate crimes involve a weapon.
“I have directed all of our federal prosecutors to make violent crime prosecution a top priority, and you can be sure this includes hate crimes. We will demand and expect results,” said Sessions at a one-day Hate Crimes Summit Thursday. “Thomas Jefferson swore eternal hostility to any domination of the mind of man. And so let it be … Hate crimes are violent crimes. No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, or how they worship.”
From 2011 to 2015, almost half of reported hate crimes involved a person’s race, about one-quarter were due to gender and one-quarter involved sexual orientation. Crimes could involve bias against more than one identifier. Hate crimes almost universally…