MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul is part of a bipartisan coalition of 35 attorneys general urging Congress to pass the bipartisan Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which would provide state and local governments and law enforcement agencies with the tools and resources to understand, identify, and report hate crimes and, as a result, help prevent them.
“The NO HATE Act would improve our ability to prevent bias-motivated violence. With better data, policymakers, public safety officials, and others would be able to respond more effectively to hate crimes,” said Attorney General Kaul.
The legislation specifically aims to help rectify inaccurate and incomplete data by providing federal grants to improve hate crimes reporting. The grants would be used to train employees on identifying, classifying, and reporting hate crimes in the FBI’s national database; assist with states’ development of programs to prevent hate crimes; increase community education around hate crimes; and create state-run hate crime hotlines.
“For more than two decades, thousands of city, county, college and university, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies have voluntarily submitted hate crimes data to the FBI,” wrote the attorneys general. “However, based on the FBI’s 2019 report, most law enforcement agencies did not participate or reported zero incidents. Exacerbating this gap, less than 25% of law enforcement agencies are using the FBI’s current reporting system, which took effect this year. This lack of data creates critical gaps that inhibit our understanding of the hate problem. As the chief legal officers of our respective jurisdictions and states, improving hate crimes reporting is a priority. Without reliable statistics, the government cannot properly understand, investigate, and prosecute hate crimes or provide necessary resources to survivors.”
As president of the National Association of Attorneys General, Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine launched a yearlong initiative in December 2020 called the People v. Hate. The initiative aims to raise awareness of hate and bias, prevent hate from taking root in our communities, support residents who have experienced hate, and develop and share best practices on improving hate crime data.
Attorney General Kaul was joined by the attorneys general of Alaska, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, N. Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and Washington.