tv Commission on Civil Rights Briefing on Hate Crimes - Panel 1 CSPAN May 15, 2018 6:22pm-8:02pm EDT
bill wednesday or thursday. it sets farm policy, food programs and agricultural trade through 2023. final vote planned for friday. watch live coverage of that debate and vote this week on c span. north dakota governor will be our guest on the bob starting at 9:30 eastern. now part of the day long briefing on head crimes hosted by the u.s. commission on civil rights in washington. it begins with remarks by law enforcement officials outlining best practices for investigating and responding to hate crimes.
>> good morning. chair, cat rain layman, commissions present in addition to me are the vice-chair, commissioner goodson, commissioner harriet, kirsnao, commissioner osaki and commissioner yaki. a forum is here. the court reporter is present and the staff director is present. >> yes. >> welcome everyone to our briefing titled in the name of hate, examining the federal government's role in responding to hate crimes. in the commission examines best practices on local law enforcement on collecting and examining data on the role of
prosecution and prevention of these heinous acts. we will hear from local law enforcement and federal officials. testimony from the briefing will coral an integrate basis for the commission's eventual report to the president, the congress and the american people regarding the state of hate in america. the commission which voted together as cross partisan lines with seven of the eight members returns to a topic that the commission has addressed multiple times in the 60-year history. to my dismay, despite important progress, we confront some of the same unconscionable woes we have confronted in years past n 1983, the commission recognized that crating a national database of hate crimes would be important for plea venting and addressing such crimes. even today, even after congress required such a database, we have seen substantial deficit
about the data collection about which i know we will hear more. this commission warped against taking federal actions that will give permission to act out hate. that warning rings true still today. i look forward to hearing today's testimony to help guide effective recommendations in our current reality about how we, as a nation, can fulfill our ideals of a pluralistic democracy, respecting everybody. this include prevention work, separate and parrot from prosecution. that work, when effective, can avoid loss of life, violent harm and can secure productive, civic and community engagement that benefits all. i look forward to hearing from today's presenters about effective preventive effort and when that fails, hate crime prosecution can send important
corrective messages to communities. local prosecutors secured a conviction from a maryland man who identified himself as a klu klux klan grand wizard. the prosecution was not federal. one set of questions we take up today involves whether and when local prosecution, without a hate enhancement is sufficient. in the wake of the antisemitic and race-based vial fence charlottesville, the commission stated that white supremacist and religious intolerance dishonor the national inthen the we had and this must be met forcefully with unwavering unified response. some communities are already living this unified response. i have been devastated as so many of us have by news reports of acts of violence and
vandalism motivated by hate. i join with the community that comes together to condemn. last year, after several jewish cemeteries were vandalized, including in st. louis, missouri, some muslim activists started a fundraising event so rebuild them. this reaffirms for me the strong pulse of equity. i was astounded to learn in the course of preparing for today's briefing that the majority of hate and bias-motivated crimes are committed by persons 29 years old and younger with 17% under the age of 17. that statistic under scores the need for effective response to hate incidents in schools. ensuring that we train the nation's students towards productive civic engagement and not towards hate. i look forward to benefiting from the experiences and expertise of those who will present to us today. and i look forward to working with my colleagues to draw conclusions and make
recommendations after reviewing the materials submitted to the commission and benefiting from today's briefing. today's briefing features 21 distinguished speakers providing us with an array of viewpoints as well as the opportunity to hear from the public. panel 1 includes local law enforcement officials as well as representatives from the national law enforcement group and the department of justice and the journalists. panel 2 includes community stake holiers, including advocates and family members of hate incidents. panel 3 includes poll sane legal expert. panel 4 includes former and current government officials who are serving or have served at the bureau of statistics, the fbi. current officials were invited but they declined to participate in today's briefing. i think all who join us now. the focus on this critical topic. that will help to us fulfill our missions to be the nation's eyes and heres. i now turn to commissioner harriet who asked to speak.
>> thank you, madam chair. >> i want to thank everyone responsible for putting together this briefing but let me say that i am not really a fan of most hate crimes laws which i believe have a tendency to fuel identity politics at a time when the nation needs to come together. in particular, i oppose the federal hate crime statute passed in 2009. i don't have time to mention all of the special problems with hate crimes law in particular will federalizing hate crime laws but let me mention one. we all know the constitute's double jeopardy clause prohibits the government from trying someone again. many people don't know that clause does not aplay when both the state and the federal government seek to prosecute the same defendant. they both get their chance to prosecute even in the event of an acquittal in the other system. such a rule might have been tolerable back when the number of federal crimes was small but
now that large numbers of crimes are potentially federal crimes, it is essentially becoming a two bites at the apple rule. the hate crimes act is a significant contributor to this. it defines hate crime very, very broadly. it does not actually require group hatred. hence the hate crime act is a misnomer. it is enough if a violent crime occurs because of -- and that's a quote of the statute, someone's race, sex, disability, et cetera. many crimes, you would not think of as hate crimes are actionable under this law. that's not a good idea. note that hate crimes are frequently the most politically sensitive crimes and those are exactly the crimes where a double jeopardy prosecution protection is most important t there will be pressure to reprosecute. we have seen that kind of pressure with the trayvon martin case. we are likely to see it more of
it as time goes by. >> commissioner dougway is one of the sponsors. >> good morning. we are here to speak about a subject of vital importance to the nation. equal protection of the law, both as a constitutional matter but also as a value, something that runs to our core. crime that is actions, not crust thoughts and ideology motivated by hate against a member of a protected class strike a blow against the rule of law, our commitment to liberty and equality, our communities, our families, our children, and sometimes as we will hear today from people who sadly know this from personal experience against individuals. that is our fellow neighbors who are targeted, terrorized, attacked, maimed or sometimes even killed by hate motivated
violence. these crimes strike a blow against what it is to be a nation based on the values that we hold dear in america. today, we remember mr. byrd and his unspeakable murder in jasper, texas, dragged behind a pickup truck to his death. we remember, too, mr. shepard, a 22-year-old college student, a gay college student, who, because of his identity, was murdered in wyoming. we remember also too many others who are not here today but who we think about and most importantly, we recommit ourselves to learn about what local and federal officers, law enforcement officers can do to prevent and prosecute these crimes. we learn about efforts to
collect data and information so that we can understand the nature and frequency of these crimes and so our policy and law enforcement efforts can be based on information and data. and it is my hope, too, that we will hear the role that law enforcement and political leaders can play in speaking about the injury that these crimes strike against our core american values. the united states is as much as anything else an idea that people should have an opportunity to live their lives regardless of what their religion is, their race, their gender identity and the like. we are grateful today from all of the witnesses who are engaged in the continuing work to make sure that we live up to our promises and our democracy and we look forward to being informed by all of you. thank you very much.
>> now, we'll begin the briefing with a few housekeeping items. deep things to the commission's staff who researched and brought it, comparier briar and natalie gonzalez, in addition to significant effort from sean -- pam dunnston, jason laria, theresa la his martin, mario ya, okidde, christine painter, sarah rudolph, olena maloduo sric, xinam xang for preparing logistical details. i thank environment goodson for peering heading most of today's hearing and staff leader morales. i caution all speakers, including our commissioners to refrain from speaking over each other for ease of transcription and allow for sign language translation to my right. for anyone who wants to view
the sign language translation, there are seats available. silence your phone and do not take flash photos to help minimize health risks to those present. we will reconvene at 5:00 p.m. for a public comment period. if you are interested in participating in the public comment period, during which each person will have up to three minutes to speak, we will be honored to hear from you. in total, the all public comment period will last no longer than one hour and a half with 30 spots allotted on the first come first serve basis. you may sign up at the registration desk beginning at 3:30 p.m. the spots will be available until filled. for any member of the public who would like to submit materials for review, they will
be open for are period. and you can -- you consider ask by e-mail, hatecrimes@u .s.c.cr.gov. after each panel's presentation, every commissioner will have the opportunity to ask questions. and i will strictly enforce the 7-minute restrictions for each commissioner. you may assume that we have read your statements so you do not need to read them to us on your opening remarks. please, focus your remarks on this topic. we have nearly two dozen experts who will speak before us. i will ask my commissioners to be cognizant of the numbers of commissioners who are present. i will step in to move things along if necessary. i also would like to note that
today's topic is a sensitive one and we have several panelists who will speak from personal experiences. i ask all to be cognisant of the witnesses and ask my fellow commissioners. notice the system of warming lights that we sent. when the light turns from green to fellow, two minutes are left and when it turns red, please conclude your statements so you do not risk my cutting you off. now we turn to the first panel of law enforcement old physicians. officials. we'll first have sargeant from the boston department, seattle department, executive director of the international association of chiefs of police and chief will johnson of the arlington police department and head of the civil rights committee for iacp could not be us with you we are grateful, mr. cunningham, that you
stepped in at the last minute. robert mussi, deputy attorney general at the u.s. department of just 'tis and robbie suave associate director of and also a member of our d.c. committee. so thank you so much for being with us in that capacity. >> detective kevin ham of the phoenix police department wass scheduled to speak but he was unable to speak to us today. his written record will be added to the commission for consideration. sergeant detective curry, please, begin and you want to turn your microphone on. thank you. >> good morning. i would like to take this opportunity to thank the commissioners for having this event and having me here today to talk about this most important issue of hate crimes. i have been working in the civil right unit of boston police department for 20-plus years. and have had an opportunity to look at these and deal with the
just -- justice system personally. we are seeing an increase of hate crimes that are happening on a national level. when i first went into the unit, i was of the assumption that hate crimes would be eradicated by now but what we see is that's not happening. i think that -- i want to share some of what i believe are some best practices. one of the things that i think is key for a law enforcement agency is to establish a hate crimes unit. the boston police established a hate crime unit over 40 years ago and they had the opportunity to maintain this unit and so that's all we do there. we look at hate crimes. we are involved with victims and i think it's crucial that police departments have someone who is going to look
specifically at hate crimes. there are not a lot of agencies that have this unit dedicated specifically to deal with hate crimes. i think having a unit sends a clear message to the community, to would - be haters, would-be perpetrators that the issue of hate crime is important. it is important. it sends a message about the police department. we see that in the climate that we are living in today, there is an increase of -- and a boldness of the verbage being used by our leaders, by the media, by politicians. we see social media, facebook, snapchat, twitter, they all play a role in this increase that we are seeing today. i think establishing a civil
rights unit with the diverse group of dedicated officers solely to investigate hate crime would play a derole in getting victims to report hate crimes. when we establish that unit, we establish trust with the community. it's important to establish that trust. it is important to develop relationships in the community. it is important to have community it outreach. when you have a unit or an individual who is dedicated specifically for hate crimes, they become experts because that's all they do. and that's what's really important here. we need community advocacy agencies. we neated clergy, the local state and federal agencies to come together. in boston, we do a lot of community outreach. we meet with a lot of people who sit at the table and talk
about this issue. other things in community outreach is things like when holidays are coming around to meet with it the groups. we see ramadan is coming on may 15th. we get out and we go and introduce ourselves and we let them know that we are aware of what's happening in the community. we are aware of the season that we are in now. let them know that we are there. let them know to be asquare to look around and be asquare -- be aware of their surroundings. that establishes the relationship when they know that police will take these crimes seriously. victims don't comfort for many different reasons. we talk about data collection. these types of crimes will not be tolerated. it must trickle down from the top.
we must encourage victims to report hate crimes. there are many factors why victims don't report hate crimes. it is contingent upon many factors. their immigration status. this is a huge one. we are constantly telling advocates and victims that their status has no bearing on their case. nor will we look into the status. in many cases, victims will not move forward. they don't speak english and will not come forward. victims in the lgbtq in many cases are not out so they won't come forward to report these crimes. victims of color may have issues with mistrust of the police department or may have language barriers. the community disorder unit where we work, the civil right unit, we are a victim-oriented unit and so we hand hold victims and take them through
the process. does not matter if it's a crime or vandalism. if the person is selected because of who they are, we're going to hold their hand and we'll take them through the whole process. we have people who won't come forward because they lead very busy lives and they don't want to go through the process because it's too disruptive. one of the challenges that we are seeing is college campus incidents don't get reported to the local police departments. they tend to keep those on the inside which is a challenge for the local police departments and it is a challenge for reporting. i believe that for law enforcement, training is the key because if a police officer does not know how to identify a hate crime, then it's not going to be reported. so that's where we see that there is a decrease in reporting. particularly in massachusetts. when we look at the numbers of
how many massachusetts law enforcement agencies are -- do not participate in reporting hate crimes, i believe they don't report them because they do not know how to identify a hate crime. so train can is key. training with victims and letting them know, understand what a hate crime is, what it isn't and what resources are available to them. if an officer is not documenting an incident correctly, it's not going to go to court. no one 'tis going to be arrest -- no one is going to be arrested. >> thank you very much. we'll now hear from assistant chief mark garth green. >> thank you very much, madam chair and thank you, commissioners, for having me here. i represent the seattle police department at this time. next line, degrees so far, bias crime unit was staffed in 2015 as a dedicated detective centered out of our homicide
and assault unit. they are dedicated for bias crimes in the investigation, data gathering and analysis as well as our public outreach. we now moved that up to two detective this is year based on the number of increases that weaver seeing. next line, please. so our legal authority comes from revised coatn washington, and the seattle municipal coal, 120-6115. the seattle code actually adds a different class to it. we add homelessness, marital status, political ideology, age, or parental status at the misdemeanor level as well. both of our statutes are separable so if we cannot prove the bias element, we go forward with the underlying crime as well so we move on both lines.
>> we gather data, following the uniform crime reporting standard set by the fbi and the national database reporting system. the two types of incidents that we break it down is malicious harassment incidents which sometimes are referred to as hate crimes or bias crimes. that's the legal definition of the crime. the next one are crimes with bias elements generally when a crime occurs and during the commission that have crime, some type of derogatory language is used. while not an element, this is something that we look out. this is where we are seeing the most amounts. and non-bias, when folks are using derogatory language but not in a criminal matter. one of the important things with it for us is the outreach to the community. we have seen an increase in
reporting over the last period of several years that we have been keeping the data. and to include a larger degree after we had on political side, the national front, the #metoo movement movement. we are emboldened by seattle. people walking down the street, seeing something across the street from them and feel that it's' not right. and they will call in to us. so that is a great thing because it means that outreach is working that forks in our city are not tolerating that type of behavior. one of the ideas that came into seattle that we work very hard on is a safe place program. this started out with lgbt community and it is a very specific geographic region of the community. it started with training business, training staff that when people are victims, they can go into the businesses,
speak to shows employees, employees would call 911 and offer them a safe place to wait until police come in to report. so overtime, we spread it city wide to 6000 businesses in seattle and we have had a great degree of success with this program and really enjoy that. move forward, please. bias crime coordinator does community outreach. an gauging in frequent community meetings, especially with the underreporting communities that we have identified in the city of seattle. many variety of different communities that does not speak english so we try to partner with the seattle office of civil rights having people go out in the community. we do a lot with cultural centers and institutions to make sure that voices are getting out as well as issuing pamphlets in all different types of language. >> next slide please?
and we'll skip to the next one. one of the things that we are really excited about in the city of seattle is that we have but case dash boards gathering our data. they are updated daily for internal facing. they are updated monthly for external facing. anybody in the city of seattle can log on and go to our crime dashboard and take a look at what's going on within their city, within their geographic area. it's broken down through that, captures the types of incident and the associated offense type of those incidents so they can go through. that links to our outreach there. that is probably one of the biggest things that law enforcement can do.
differently here. one of the things we do is when a crime takes place we have a team that moves out into the community, it is -- some community members, and then our u.s. state attorney. one of the deputies go out as well, we meet with the victim and in large part it's for the community. we mobilize with the community, to let them know that this is not tolerated, to find out what they need to restore themselves to a sense of security, and follow-up is how to prevent these in the future, we use that program quite often. but the biggest thing -- with immigration status being an issue right now, we work under
the premise that we do not ask, we are not concerned with immigration status at the time of reporting. what to the follow-up to ensure that justice is served for those folks. as far as continued outreach, continued legislation, continued law enforcement activities as well, we see the very first step in any types of these things is for the enforcement portion for police to get in there, we see a correlation of, and higher crime areas, -- on average, 40% of hours in the city of seattle conducted by people suffering from mental crisis, or under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. so those are two different areas that we need to address as well get >> thank you very much. now we will hear from chief -- >> good morning, madame chairman.
my name is terrence cunningham, and the deputy directive -- to regular. ãmax director. i served as the president from 2015 to 2016. it is the largest association of law enforcement leaders with more than 30,000 members and over 150 countries. hate crime and hate incidents demand immediate attention, response and resolution whenever possible. what makes a crime so malicious is their impact spreads far beyond the direct victims and their family. these crimes have far-reaching effects on large segments of communities in which they take place, spreading fear, toxicity throughout our communities. they have been discussing the challenges and impact of hate crimes for close to two decades will be hurtãmike held our first summit and developed recommendations. since that time we have developed a policy, in conjunction with the defamation league in 2016 and
on the investigation of hate crimes and aid to law- enforcement agencies but additionally they have partnered recently with a large committee for civil rights under law to create an advisory committee that encompasses diverse representation from law enforcement, civil rights organizations, and academia. have posted a series of meetings to hear perspectives from hate crime survivors, academic experts, advocacy leaders and law enforcement officials on best practices to combat hate. the end product will be a summary report outlining the action items detailing the discussions on the advisory group and will be released between the summer and early fall of 2018. it is a very competent of documents that we will clearly make available to this committee. today i would like to focus on challenges law-enforcement faces when it comes to hate crimes. as you have heard from the last two presenters, over the years, one of the greatest barriers to
confront the overcoming hate violence has been the lack of statistical data on the occurrence and nature of these crimes. participation of the reporting system, which like the rest of the ucr is voluntary. while participation has increased over the year, but dissipation levels are seriously lacking. we know that figures -- the figures, as reported to the fbi, strongly suggest a serious undercutting of hate crimes, and that there is a need for more training and education on the importance and utility of hate crime reporting and data collection as a tool for law enforcement preventing these crimes and safeguarding the public. while more data needs to be reported, we need our communities to report hate crime incidents. the most recent hate crime victimization publication from the bureau of justice statistics shows that 54% of violent hate crime was not reported to police from 2011 to
2015. as enforcement we need to make sure that our communities understand that we want these incidents to be reported and that no hate crime or any other crime is insignificant. we never want our communities to feel that they should not bother us, it is our job and it is why we chose this career, we want to protect and serve. so directly to the challenges of hate crimes. investigating, the decision whether to classify a crime is a hate crime and whether different charges can be very complicated. it is difficult to determine the motives of one's heart, and their intentions. law enforcement executives need to ensure investigators are looking at each individual case on its own merits and take a proactive approach to identifying potential crimes. in today's world, the internet provides extremists with an unprecedented ability to spread hate and recruit followers. individual races and organization -- organized hate groups now have the power to reach mobile audiences of
millions to communicate among like-minded individuals easily, inexpensively and anonymously. the ease of sending internet heat messages and threats across state lines can make perpetrators and victims difficult to identify and locate. and creates criminal jurisdictional issues and poses special challenges to investigators. and although hate speech is offensive and hurtful, the first amendment protects such expressions. however, when speech contains threats against an identifiable individual, organization or institution, it becomes crowdã rec conduct. -- conduct. in order for law enforcement to be truly effective, offices and agencies must have the active assistance and support from every facet of our communities. establishing and maintaining these crucial relationships in order to build a mutual
understanding and level of trust with diverse communities, require time and is an ongoing effort. to maintain relations we must work toward prevention hate crimes in our communities. in order to effectively prevent response to hate crimes, i have a few recommendations i believe the federal government and elected officials could take. number one, the national justice commission, there is a need to establish this. this would not just be another study. establishment such a committee would set forth a strategic blueprint for criminal justice that would guide efforts to protect our communities for years to come. the last one was created in 1965 and produce landmark changes for the criminal justice system. training peer law-enforcement agents these need training. training is also needed to help understand the victims culture, language and what questions to ask.
enhancing community police relations. positive relationships between law enforcement and communities will encourage members to report hate crimes, and minimize the chances of retaliatory crimes. provide incentives, particularly hate crimes to the fbi. specialized units, funding to create units or to help agencies team up to develop multi agency taskforces. speak out against hate crimes. the president, members of congress, state and local officials all need to condemn acts of bigotry every time they can. and on behalf of the -- i conclude by thanking you again for the opportunity to appear before you today and happy to answer any questions that you have. >> inc. you very much. -- thank you very much. >> it's a pleasure to be here. i'm a 24 year career employee of the doj. and i am delighted to be here with my fellow
members of law enforcement and a journalist. to talk about the important work we are doing to combat biased and motivated violent crimes, often called hate crimes. i spent the majority of my time with the civil rights division, prosecuting a variety of crimes, including law enforcement and misconduct, human trafficking and hate crimes. and i can say with confidence that combating hate crimes is among the highest priorities for the civil rights division and for this justice department. as you know, hate crimes can be prosecuted in state or federal courts depending on each jurisdiction's laws. we in the civil rights division, working with our u.s. attorney partners in the fbi prosecute hate crimes and federal courts across the nation. we are committed to using federal prosecutions to make clear, if any active bias is unacceptable, and the department will use our investigative and prosecutorial authority to bring partãmy perpetrators to justice.
-- more than 2000 defendants and -- two dozen defendants and some examples are unable 30th, two texas defendants were sentenced to 15 or 20 years for using social media dating platforms for gay men to arrange to meet the terms in their homes where they brutally assaulted them. on april 18 after a four-week trial, a jury convicted three men in kansas of using -- conspiracy to commit a hate crime. they plotted to blow up an apartment complex and order to kill the immigrants who lived there. also in april, three e. los angeles lemon agreed to plead guilty to -- participating in a 2014 firebombing intended to drive african-american residents into the house and built it out of that development. in march, the jury found a man guilty of giving a hate crime when he used a stun device during a racially motivated
assault in utah. he shouted racial slurs at the seven-year-old son as he rode a scooter in the common area of the apartment and what his father tried to stand up for his son the defendant used the stun gun to assaulted. in february 2018 a virginia man was indicted for hate crime for threatening arabs. -- of a dual united states an israeli citizen and three different jurisdictions for hate crimes and other offenses arising from alleged threats he major jewish community centers across the united states, specifically in florida. the israeli embassy in the defamation leak here in dc as well as multiple other jewish organizations across united states. and in november 2017, the department designated one of our civil rights division prosecutors to assist in a state murder trial of an iowa man who was ultimately convicted of murdering a transgender teenager and faces
life imprisonment. while my background is federal prosecutions, the department of justice takes a broader approach across the nation. attorney general has made hate crimes one of the pillars of his task force on crime reduction and public safety. the civil rights division -- composed of the civil rights division, fbi, attorneys offices, the office of policing, office of justice programs, and the community relations services known as crs and we have been working to figure out how can we bring although her 30s, and abilities and resources together to really assist federal and state investigators to identify and report these crimes and how to respond to communities that have been harmed by these crimes. our local police and sheriff's officers are important partners for identifying investigating crimes.
they are the women and men who respond to violence on the streets, they are the officials who will identify hate crime when it happens a collect the unseen evidence. these local law enforcement agencies must have the support they need to identify, investigate and report hate crimes. there are many more prosecutors than there are federal process tutors -- prosecutors. they must also have the state laws and resources they need to process a crimes in the local and state courts. -- this is especially true when it comes to reporting hate crimes to law enforcement. we are really working across the department to figure out how can both law enforcement and victims better report hate crimes. accurate data helps localities ãmegan we have to understand why 80% of police departments to participate in the ucr, were poor that they had zero hate crimes in 2016. and why for law enforcement agencies in jurisdictions with more than 250,000 residents did not even report hate crimes at
the -- to the fbi. we have to understand and address why more than half of hate crime victims do not report hate crimes when they happen. about a quarter of those who don't report to say that they did not believe the police would want to be bothered or get involved, the police would be inefficient or ineffective, or the police would cause trouble to the victims. i know you have a panelist later to talk about he crimes data. we are working really hard to improve our outreach because this will in turn improve our ability to identify and report hate crimes and investigate and prosecute them. since january 2018, community relations service has hosted five forms, bringing together 50 to 400 local law enforcement communities, leaders, agencies and advocates and we are picking more localities to do these trainings in the coming years. -- and another engaging
building partnerships with sikh americans. these are aimed at law enforcement community leaders to better establishment of the relationships of those populations. our fbi has a national training initiative that reaches literally thousands of people every year to train them about hate crimes and civil rights, both in law enforcement and the community and we in the civil rights division will be hosting a training at our national advocacy center this august to bring together fbi agents and prosecutors to help increase our ability to identify and prosecute hate crimes. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. i am deeply honored to participate in this briefing, and so grateful to the commission for inviting me. what is the government's role in preventing hate crimes? i think it might be slightly more complicated than it seems.
most people would agree that the government obviously has a compelling interest in preventing crime and most people would also agree that hateful contentãmy conduct is unwelcome but many actions are nevertheless protected by the bill of rights by the first amendment does give us the right to engage in expression that some people would consider hateful and while many of today's college students think hate speech should be illegal, in fact nearly half of them -- crystal clear on this that the thought that we -- is constitutionally permissible to engage in that. most recently, 2011 and the famous baptist church case this -- the supreme court said that people shouting for the death of military servicemen and shouting horrific things that gay people, even that kind of speech was protected. there is a critical distinction between hate speech and hate crime. i think we're generally talking about hate crime in the context
of the additional penalties against people who commit crimes for reasons that are especially hateful. i did hear one of my fellow panelists talking about derogatory language during the commission of a crime being an additional crime which blurs that distinction in ways that could impugn our civil liberties or free-speech rights. the law recognizes crimes such as -- are especially heinous. although some, i think might contend in the philosophical sense of not illegal when that it is not, in some sense murder, murder, regardless of the killers motivation, to read the mind of the killer, and define whether it was the impugning some protected category. anecdotally we hear from many media outlets as someone who is in the press, and pays close attention, we often hear they have increased are always increasing, the fbi reported a 5% rise in hate crime. from
2015 to 2016. that is a small increase that it could be the result of better reporting rather than an actual spike in hate. the fbi reported an increase in anti-muslim hate, but that might be because the fbi, the way i understand it, change slightly how they were tracking that information. according to the u.s. bureau of justice, hate crime levels have fluctuated but remained relatively stable between 2004 and 2015. as a reporter who focuses specifically on education issues, schools, higher education in particular, i can see the situation on college campuses is very complicated. there is some data to suggest that hate crimes on campuses specifically increased as high -- by as much as 25% in the last year or two. possibly because of the dismissiveness of the 2016 election, that has been the theory that was put out. many of these are hate inspired
acts of vandalism, to structure property and intimidation. even so it can be very difficult to truly grapple with these instances and understand, they are not always what they appear to be on their face, because perpetrators are almost never caught in these cases. but his feet news revealed 200 things that were reported as he crimes and often they have a separate reporting system where students and professors can anonymously file reports. this is obviously a much more broad category. many of these things would be deemed perfectly legal. they would be examples of free expression but if larger cases, the buzz feed review -- 154 of them did happen but only at 5% of the cases was the perpetrator caught.
unfortunately it is true that some of the incidences on college campuses after doctor b accidents or hoaxes. two crimes reported at michigan, university of michigan, and the immediate wake of the election in november 2016, they were discovered to be hoaxes, one involving a young muslim woman who claimed somebody tried to set her on fire and another saying somebody had attacked with a safety pin because she was a pro-immigrant sort of demonstrator. please confirmed -- police confirmed the alleged victim that both clark -- crimes have been made up. -- i think that is certainly not true. but i campuses in particular, when we are so focused on these school questions these days it is hard to know exactly what is going on. i've seen cases where it appears that it was a message of hate, like anti-immigrant hater anti-placate, but actually the person doing it was an immigrant or person of color, and they were saying
these have become acceptable in our country so they were making a political demonstration of sorts. that changes whether it was an act of hate, given who was doing it. i would urge policymakers, law enforcement authorities -- as one of increasing hatefulness. while we can and should continue to track and prosecute criminal activity, should keep in mind our first amendment rights. there are vastly fewer for free expression and other countries and i worry at times that we could undermine our own production, our own protections by drawing the hate crime category too broadly.ã find a communion on youtube for a hate crime. he was just trying to make his girlfriend mad is what he said. he was not affiliated with any organization and he was arrested and fined for doing
so. in liverpool a young woman was reported to a hate crime unit for posting the lyrics for a rap song on her instagram page, doing a tribute to young men who had died in a -- red been run over by a car and it was like his favorite song. authorities never charge to anyone in the young man's death but they did arrest her for posting the rap lyrics. the judge said there is no place in society for language like that. i think these hate crime arrests in the u.s., in the uk, rather, underscore the need for fishes in our own country to remain cognizant of the line of hate speech and hate crime and to avoid pessimism thank you. >> thank you. i'm going to open it up now for questions. i do not hear -- actually say -- about what they were. >> what that was, that is when we capture the data. in those three things.
the crime and hate speech. >> i have so many questions. i started my career working on hate crime, -- in particular, with murder of vincent chan who is officially -- viciously murdered before he was supposed to get murdered by a father and son who is angry about the japanese carmakers in detroit. they went after him with a baseball bat, killed him, and the judge slapped them on the wrist and give them time served because they were otherwise fine americans. so i would say to commissioner harriet, i would not worry that there is too much double dipping with the federal government, because it is extremely difficult to get the federal government to step in. there are a lot of jurisdictional hurdles and
obviously, the first choice is always local police, but unfortunately, in this country we have a history where local police have not always been on the side of protecting minority victims. so with that, i will say, i have a lot of questions. we have a short amount of time, if i cut you off, it's not because i'm being rude but because i want to get to my other questions. this is just a short question for assistant chief green. who helped pay for the development of the website? that sounds like it's a very important tool. >> that was done internally. it's part of our budget process. we do that, we get some money from the city as well, external money from them. we added to it but it is mostly done internally. >> is there room for the federal government to help other police departments move into that technology space? >> absolutely. with the increase in technology out there, capturing that and
putting that out there for folks to see, i think absolutely. where i think the biggest thing there is just what you allude to. it's funding. they may not have the budgetary means to be able to support that. >> one of the reasons i'm excited about this panel is we picked you with precision because you are all at the cutting edge of really trying to lead on prosecuting hate crimes and we want to learn from what you are doing. one thing that we are concerned about is there has been a lot of great work on trying to attack the is on the phobia issues in this country. we are wondering what is going on in terms of trying to get at the rising violence and hate violence against transgendered persons and people with disabilities. we have witnesses coming later to talk about the lack of knowledge and the difficult
relationships of some of them have with law enforcement, so if any of you have some programs that are working it would be great to hear about that. >> i will jump in. as we alluded to earlier, safely started at our lgbt community. we have a very large robust community in the city of seattle that we part with -- partner with. with police officers that are demographics, that represent the community, and we spent a lot of time working with the community, bringing them in, discussing what the issues are with them, and doing a lot of public outreach through the media, as well. >> and people with disabilities, as anyone doing any outreach work to that community, successfully? >> i know when we do our forums across the country, we do outreach work both to the
transgender community and the disability community and we are increasingly seeing a number of disability related bias crime cases come to us, for investigation. you know, sort of a pipeline. >> would you mind leaning closer? >> we are often prosecuting cases today that happened two or three years ago. but i can say that internally, we have noted the same thing, we feel like we are seeing too few transgender and disability matters and we want to do better at that. that is definitely an area where we want to improve. >> i just wanted to add, we are developing a model policy, just specifically to the lgbt issue. both internally, from a police perspective in hiring folks into the police department and externally how they should be handled from the street, patrol officer standpoint as well.
>> i particularly appreciate that because i work for over a decade to try to get the hate crime about that -- my colleague mentioned that she does not likeãmy i worked for 10 years, to try to get that pastor one of the reasons was because it expanded. one of the questions i have -- the fact that they -- has been talking about hate crimes. but they sent a letter almost a year ago, a coalition of over 80 troops, -- i'm wondering what progress has been made because my understanding is the response has not come, particularly on the recommendation to establish a separate hate crime task force or working group, rather than embedding it in a crime reduction of public safety,
holding interagency hate crime meetings that include people who work on mental disability issues, and creating a website that aggregates a federal resource on these kinds of hate crimes. >> i spoke with him earlier this week, and i was asked about the letter. it is with me, we will be responding soon. i want to get us to a point where we could publicly say a lot of things that we have been doing and developing of the last year, so i think you will see that we have been doing that and that will be made public but we definitely will be responding soon. in the next couple of days. i would be happy to provide it. >> again, also, i think you all for taking the time to appear with us.
this question is for assistant chief green and for sergeant curry. one of the things that we are seeking to do as a commission is to identify best practices that can be used to combat hate crimes, and it would appear that one of the best practices would be, jurisdiction establishing a dedicated unit. to fight hate crime. and it is my understanding that -- sergeant curry has had a unit for 40 years. i've been very impressed with what you have done in seattle. so what i was wondering, it might help other jurisdictions that are beginning to consider a dedicated unit to talk about what some of the largest impediments or obstacles were
to you getting to the point that you would establish a dedicated unit, so what can these other jurisdictions that are considering this prepare themselves to face? >> i know it's been a long time, you've been at it a long time. >> what can they look forward to in terms of establishing -- >> the biggest barrier to you setting up a dedicated unit. >> i think one of the challenges with setting up a dedicated unit is resources. whether that department has enough officers that they can dedicate to a specific unit just to look at hate crimes. that is one of the challenges. that i see. is the resources. >> i agree, resource management is probably the number one thing
with it. the second would be a true understanding of what hate crimes really are. where sometimes, as -- some people believe that that is a tremendous amount of work but really when you start to break it down and you look at the crimes look -- that are involved, that becomes smaller. allow the officers to know what information they need to capture and give back to those funding resources at that point. >> did you want to answer? >> if you don't mind. there is a roughly about 18,000 was agencies in the country. about 80% of them are 25 officers or less of most agencies don't have a kind of capacity like boston and seattle do but what we found is to make sure that they have individuals in the agency that they have identified to get specialized training because you really need help. the officer on the street needs help looking at those
indicators. is this really a bias or a hate crime, so it is important that we do have -- at the supervisory level, so if we get all the sergeants trained, so the sergeants, they are responding to these types of crimes in the street and then making a determination whether or not it really is a hate crime. >> the other important issue would be looking at the regional level. >> -- since we are a large department, so i think that is a key thing to focus on as well. >> may ask one of the quick question? this is for deputy attorney general lucy. so one of our panelists who will be appearing later today, says that the civil rights division, and none of those doj components regularly publishes in an easily accessible location any data about cases,
and that they should be required to report at least quarterly, and those reports should be prominently displayed. i thought about that in addition with the dashboard that we heard about from seattle. would you address, please, that concern about as expressed by a future panelists? >> i will say everything public we can say about a hate crime prosecution we put in a press release and time of the indictment, conviction or sentence and those are all located on our website. we put everything can action and a hate crime case or any civil rights case, we put on our website. so we have hate crimes that were statistics, that list the statutes and has access to all the publicly available press
releases. number of the groups have asked civil rights groups have asked, about a more comprehensive website, that might provide information, both to state and local contacts, fbi contacts. something that might be the.gov website which has been very successful and i can say we are looking at doing that. i'm a criminal prosecutor, our technical expertise and our resources to do some of this important outward facing information is limited but it is something we have been working on. >> but we have those resources within the federal government that you can call them, don't we? >> we are trying. we have a group looking at trying to stand up a website but right now, even if you go to doj.gov and you go to the division website you will see a hate crimes page if you go to our public affairs office, you will see every single hate crimes press release will be issued publicly. >> i don't know that they are necessarily talking about press releases, i believe they were
concerned about his concern was about data and reports. what about quarterly, with the notion of putting information out quarterly? >> what we have, what we do is we have criminal investigations that we determine whether they meet the elements of a statute and prosecute them. so as much as we can make public about that, we do, we don't do reports, we don't click data or statistics nationally, the uniform crime report does that with the fbi, i think they do that, but as far as what we do, i don't know what else we would have that we can make public. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. i have two quick questions, one for mister cunningham and one for mister soirie. one of the things that -- brought up in his testimony was the fact that there are a large number of jurisdictions that don't report hate crimes at all.
in fact, florida for example, the third most populous state in the country, reports fewer hate crimes in north carolina, which is less than half that size. there are places, counties in texas for example, harris county with over 2 million people that reported zero hate crimes and there are other jurisdictions and that is by the way relegated to the south. the only reported one. how do we get these police departments in these larger jurisdictions to start cooperating, what can we do to make it either better, easier, or more compulsory for them to get involved? >> a couple of responses to that, number one i think that a lot of the jurisdictions, a lot of the jurisdictions they don't know what those bias indicators
are so they are not sure it's a hate crime so they don't list it as a hate crime. the bigger issue here is the reporting piece. -- and other major law- enforcement organizations have really been very supportive of trying to move from the ucr, because ucr does not give you enough information. this gives you a lot more information. the problem with that is a lot of the agencies, including the larger agencies do not have the resources to do it so the current records measurement systems don't allow them to capture that information and then upload it and send it to the fbi. >> what you mean by resources? >> the records management system is not capable because they are very antiquated, so there would be a significant financial investments of what we are eating in dealing with in the fbi, we have been supportive of it, because as a police professional you need the data and you need -- so we need more information.
that information gives you a lot more for you to be able to make decisions on. but the problem is, this transition is going to happen by 2020 and we will be moving into just the -- you won't even accept the ucr data anymore. but there are a lot of agencies that need more resources. they just don't have the money to be able to upgrade their records management systems to be able to do this, and absolutely that is a place the federal government can help. they have provided some resources but they need more. >> i was curious about some of the statements that you made regarding the climate of hate speech could you seem to indicate that there seems to be no -- you said something that seems to me struck me as concluding that there was -- too much is being made of the current climate of statements of people in regards to hate
speech and what it was really increasing or not. am i wrong, or what exactly did you say about that? >> i think that i was simply stating that we oftenãmy people in the media assert that hate crimes are getting worse, or the bias incidents are getting worse on college campuses. i don't know that that is not the case but i don't know that the evidence is as compelling as they often suggest that it is. i think the situation is more complicated, particularly in our schools. we have better data, obviously for the heart hate crimes, although as you just mentioned in some places we just have simply no information. >> i'm curious because to me, whether it is a college campus or whether it is the city of houston, while we all agree that speech is protected and must be protected, certainly speech can create a climate for action.
and i looked at the fact that the reporting that is managed by the -- showed a big spike upwards and reported hate crimes and you made the dispute that after november, around november of last year, and i am concerned, and i think this is something that goes toward the work that not just you but other people on this panel -- everyone, that goes toward what this climate is that we are engaged in right now, and how unusual it is when you have a president talking about -- and these are all statements, so i'm not renaming a school, characterizing mexican immigrants as racists and criminals, attacking a judge for his mexican heritage as being biased, talking about people from haiti as having
aids, describing countries in africa as being acyl countries which i won't go after. charlottesville, the very fine people comment, pardoning -- calling senator ms. johnson pocahontas. these things are out there, you cannot undo them. we have someone here who is going to testify later about his role and his bravery in an attack against two muslim individuals on a train in portland. and it took the president three days, with 21 other intervening tweets before that incident was acknowledged by the white house and it was not even acknowledged by the president's own twitter dan by the actual official one, which is not handled by the president himself. these are things that are out there. and i'm curious, for you, for all of you, how that atmosphere
or does that charge the atmosphere anymore for you and how you are dealing with these incidents and the climate and just the average person, patrol person out on the street. in dealing with hate crimes, and how that impacts what it is you do. >> i had one quick -- so i would obviously agree that all the statements you just listed, that shop and others were horrible and wrongheaded things but i would not want our police doing anything to stop people from expressing those things. on a campus, it does get a little more confusing. because teachers have more power in some circumstances, especially k-12, to police those statements within those classrooms, or to make it a
hospitable environment for everyone. when you're going to like the public square on a college campus, when you can write whatever you want in chalk on the quad. probably, within a greater degree of latitude. but it is just writing, like, latinas go back to mexico or something like that, that might get characterized as a bias incident. those are probably pretty clear free expression things, if it's a public university campus, public property, so that is why i say these things get a little more complicated when we start blurring these distinctions are particularly at schools. >> i would just say that words really matter. whether it is the previous demonstration of the curtain ministration, when it comes in the top of the administration, with the president of the united states says really matters. during the previous demonstration we saw some real high-profile use of force cases and i think there were some folks in the administration that jumps to some -- some
conclusions very quickly before they let the infestations play out because of that there were some words that caused some strife. i know law enforcement and -- in the current administration, some remarks that are clearly insensitive remarks. they have been matter -- they matter. words matter for all of us. >> chief johnson, you made a mention of 18,000 police departments. and then, i think you said a majority of them have 25 offices or less, or do you have a number? >> 80% of the police departments within the united states are 25 officers or less. >> thank you. chief green, chief johnson and his statement said that -- let me see here -- 44% of hate
crimes are not reported. i think that is what he said. 54. and so, it sounds to me like your department is fairly sophisticated in that regard. have you been able to determine what kind of reporting percentages you have? >> no, sir, we do know that we have quite a bit of underreporting as the national average goes, as well. legally, we do have a very robust outreach to gather that. however, there is a lot of reasons for it is most from personal interaction with folks, and what they bring to it. so it is due to an increase or as an increase due to the increase of reporting. at some point there will be a plateau, i think, and at that
point we can really start to gather the data on if they are increasing or not. >> chief johnson, i found out the 44%, these matters are privately handled. what does that mean? can you give me some examples? >> i'm not following your question. to make it said here, hate crimes to police victimization's were handled in another way. 44% were privately or through nonlaw enforcement professionals. >> a lot of times you will see, and the hate offense, you will see victims of those go to do other civil representatives, whether it is to the adl or to other folks, and not reported to law enforcement, i think that we talked about immigration status, it is such a concern to people who are really afraid to come forward and to report a lot of these crimes. so they go through other organizations to make their report. >> individualization's content
is organizations to ask at least anonymously report those crimes? >> i think there was again in my comments i made, it is so important for us to maintain those relationships with those organizations, which i know we do in great deal. but i know it is really incumbent upon the local agencies to constantly reach out to those organizations, so that the organization feels, that the agency, the police agencies are trustworthy and that they can make those reports to them. >> mister mu c, thank you. you said that the attorney general supports prosecution of hate crimes. what is doj doing in terms of trying to get more reporting done in this regard? obviously, the software is changing, or the reporting software is changing but are there other things you are talking about, educational process around the country, etc.? can you be more specific?
>> yes i can. to your prior question about outreach to community groups, i think that is so important in all aspects of our criminal prosecutions, whether we had during prosecutions of police officers for excessive force, human trafficking, hate crimes, the victims and those cases often don't come to local law enforcement and really creating a bridge with community groups. i think it is critical. that is why we have civil rights point of contact and every u.s. attorney's office. whose job it is to go out and form relationships with those community groups to try to create a search for victims to report these crimes through a trusted method. >> the department has two people at this hearing, later today you will hear from a representative of our bureau of justice statistics was an expert on hickam supporting and data. let me say that i think the first thing that we tried to figure out, and this is something, and our hate crimes working group, this is one of our priorities, to figure out
what is going on with this reporting, why are 88. -- 80% reporting zero. maybe there are people who do not want to report. there are a number of people who are not traded who do not know, in these 18,000 small person police departments the resources to go out there and train every one of them is bad, there's a training issue. there is also the mechanism, it is really difficult. and for resources, the current system is difficult to use. the new system has a drop-down box that will drive people to report comments disfiguring out to fill out the hate crimes form and enter that in there is an actual drop-down menu that basically drives you to report he crimes and all crimes, so i think that is going to work a lot better. so we are looking, i think one of the things that our fbi is doing is we have put out the word to local police departments, if you want training on reporting, we are providing resources to do that, and we stepped up a program to
stop providing training to local police departments to increase their ability to do hate crimes reporting. >> do you have any idea how this has been going or how long it has been going? whether there is an increase in training, the numbers, do you have that? >> is a part of our working group, because as the attorney general has been emphasis on this program over the last year and we have been mobilizing folks, i know that our fbi crime reporting unit is soliciting requests and providing that training. >> so this training program is new under this administration? >> i would say we are providing new training under this administration. i don't know that i would classify it as a program, but we are trying to identify why people are not reported, because they lack training, let's get in that training. for those who are not reported for other reasons let's try to adjust those reasons whether it be -- of trying to fund technology upgrades, things like that.
>> mister mucie, my understanding is and has a certification requirement and the designee must certify certain things -- can you walk me through the process for how that is done? have they designated someone else to make that certification? and what sort of documentation goes to that person? before a federal prosecution can be undertaken? >> so you are correct. before any prosecution can commence, the attorney general has to certify that such prosecution is in the public interest and there is a set of factors laid out in the statute. that authority has been delegated to the -- right now, the eggs acting attorney general -- that happened as
soon as it was enacted in 2009 and has always been that way. there's a short timeãhad to do it herself, but as long as the statute has been in place, it is in this delegation. there is an internal briefing process the prosecutors to the assistant attorney general through me. in writing. where factors are laid out you know, the deliberate process is explained, strength and weaknesses, internal analysis of the case, the analysis of the factors, as they relate to the evidence. >> i would really like to see that kind of documentation, is that is something the commission can get? >> i believe it would be delivered just like our indictment, it would all be delivered in process and protected. i'm an expert at the freedom of information act, i would still want to comply with a fully and if you filed a request it would go through the normal course.
>> would you be able to share the elements of the memo are. >> the analysis is, first and foremost -- >> not right now, you can do it later. [ laughter ] >> thank you. >> mister green, you had said that there are a lot of cases that go unreported. i'm sure that is true but isn't it also true for simple assaults? you have a sense of, with something like a simple assault that is not a hate crime, what percentage of those go unreported? >> i don't have a number for you, ma'am. but i would agree that there are a large amount of crimes that go unreported for probably very much similar reasons as hate crimes don't come as well. >> he said that hate crimes from 2015 to the -- 2016 have gone up between 45%. i did a quick google search and it's also true that violent crime as well went up between four and 5% that year.
i think it was 4.6 for hate crimes of violent crime it was 4.1. but we are talking about a small difference there. >> yes we are. overall, what i would explain, in the city of seattle, our crime some 2016 to 2017 are noncriminal buys innocent -- incidents. so much higher than 45% and then the national average. >> one that would buy me again. >> in the city of seattle, our noncriminal bias from 2016 to 2017 rows 112%. >> noncriminal bias. >> so when there is a crime common underlying crime, use derogatory language. >> but that is one that is going to be subject to huge variation based on how it is perceived. that one is -- that is not what we are talking about here. >> crimes of violent elements rose 113%. >> hate crimes. >> yes, ma'am.
>> how much should your violent crime go up? how much should your simple assault go up? how much did anything that would be a non-hates -- how much did it go up? >> be increased as well but not nearly by that. they increased by single or double digits, not by triple digits, ma'am. i will caveat that by saying that was only 114 incidents in 2017. so the increase, while you look at the statistical number and you are like incredible, 113, seattle is a very safe place and the fact that it was only 114 incidents. >> on the other hand, again, when we are talking about these things that are -- you would think that that would be subject to wild variations in whether or not people are thinking about reporting it rather than what the underlying facts are. if people are told. -- that these things are going up, they are going to mention that more readily than they would in the case where people are not thinking about it. >> yes, ma'am.
>> thanks to the witnesses. a couple of questions for all of the witnesses, if you have this information. i looked through the material that was provided by all witnesses, not just this panel and i did not see the information there. are you aware of any data studies or other evidence that shows designating a crime, a hate crime, deters, prevents, or reduces that crime? second, whether designating a crime a federal hate crime reduces, deters, or prevents incidence of that crime? and one other question, are you aware of any databases, study, or other evidence that shows that designating a crime, a hate crime, whether -- state or
federal hate crime assists in the resolution of that crime, or the apprehension of the perpetrator? >> thank you. chief cunningham, i think you said that one of the things that is important is that jurisdictions come to understand and are trained in the utility of reporting, that the value of reporting. right now, can you give us the elevator pitch about what the utility of reporting is for jurisdictions? >> they would make data driven decisions, so you look at the data to determine how you put your resources out in the field, so if you saw hundred 50% increase in your hate crimes, you would say okay, you need to establish a unit, and
of state your names that the president has made that were targeted at particular groups. a number of statements that the president has made. you say community outreach and building a breech to communities is an essential role. and that there's a difficulty with respect to immigration status in having reporting and the like about crimes. i'm trying to understand what role those statements across the category of groups, national origin state your names, statements about transgender people, policy pronouncement, how does that make your job any easier in the area? >> as i said, i mean, i don't definitely we have impediment to doing that. we're committed to doing it. the attorney general is committed to doing it. we're all committed to doing
it. i want to say i want to be really careful about attributing really -- because they're being driven to it or something like that. that's not our position. i think we see a really hard line there. where we say, if something is a threat, inciting violence, those people, you're responsible for that conduct. so i think our position has always been, we respect vibrant and at sometimes shocking speech.
so i'm not talking about whether or not an authority will dually prosecute when someone steps over that line. i understand law enforcement officers on the panel, all of you to be saying that to do this job well, we need to have bridges to the community, and that community interactions are a key exponent of being able to vindicate these laws -- a key component -- so i'm trying to understand how the tone from the top effects law enforcement's ability to engage with communities that may all ready be reluctant to participate with law enforcement and to report. that's the question. >> sure, and what i can tell you is what we do is we go to those communities. i partner with national center for transgender equality. and every month i get from them a list of possible hate crimes that may happen and we look at those. we make an overt effort to go to our communities and say i'm with the civil rights division. we care about investigating and
prosecuting hate violence. i'm going to stand with my local police department and say we're the people who if there's an hack of violence, we are here and we want to take it seriously. and so we're putting faces to our actions. and that's why we have civil rights points of contact in every u.s. attorney's office. and everybody fbi. and that's why the fbi has a national training initiative where they're going out to communities and saying if an act of violence happens, my name is agent smith. i want you to tell me about it. because i'm showing you our commitment to doing this is real. that's what we do. >> thank you. we're out of time. sorry. >> i'm sorry ma'am. i misspoke. so the actual increase in the crime itself was 33%. not 113. 33%. >> that's an important claire clarification. >> that means we're going to have a very short break between this panel and the next. madame chair, you were speaking
earlier about commitment. to eradicating hate crimes and all of that. it occurred to me that i believe the most recent budget proposal sought to eliminate roughly 27 positions in the civil rights division or the civil rights team, whatever. how is eliminating those positions consistent with the reported increases in racial harassment and hate crimes. >> so our -- i believe we got a flat -- for the civil rights division, i believe it was a flat budget. i'm not aware. i think there was reporting about some spots that were eliminated that were never filled. they were literally just accounting type positions. >> i think i'm talking about the proposal. >> i'm not aware that the civil rights division budget was -- >> the civil rights team.
>> the proposal from doj. not what congress gave to doj. >> i know for example in the criminal section. we've added attorneys to it. but for the people prosecuting hate crimes, i think since january 12017. we've added 16 criminal prosecutors i think for a net of agee. because we've had some attrition. for the unit that's doing that kind of work, it's grown. and i know our budget has been flat. i'm not aware of a proposal to decrease the funning to the prosecutors or attorneys who would be handling hate crime matters. i'm not aware of that at all. >> i have a quick question. we received some eck recommendations from panelists about the groups focused on hate crimes. and you included your testimony about hate crimes.
i participated in working groups that focus on hate crimes. i found it valuable. i wonder if you do. and if so, whether any work like that is continuing to take place? if you think it would be valuable for it to take place. and if not, why not. >> i do think it's valuable. i would love to explore reconstituting our work on that. >> do you know why it's not constituted now? >> i don't. >> thank you. with that we're going to conclude this panel. i thank each panelist for your expertise. we invite you to share further information. if you have further information that occurs to you today. we'll take a break for four minutes and invite our next panelist up.
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