December 12, 2022 — New York
American Jewish Committee CEO Ted Deutch expressed deep concern regarding the dearth of data in the latest FBI Hate Crimes Report. Issued today, the report provides a woefully inadequate assessment of the reality and extent of hate crimes targeting Jews in the United States.
“The FBI report on hate crimes is among the most anticipated federal government documents. But its shortcomings undermine the gravity of the problem of hate in the United States,” said Deutch.
The FBI, for its annual report, depends on voluntary reporting from law enforcement agencies across the country. For 2021, 22 percent fewer law enforcement agencies submitted data than the previous year. Among the largest cities with significant Jewish populations that did not provide numbers for 2021 were New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. The number of agencies participating has been slowly declining but the decrease in 2021 was sharper.
Hate crimes in many cities apparently were not reported because approximately 4,000 agencies have not yet made the transition to the National Incident-Based Reporting System, a new data collection system that is meant to provide greater specificity. 35 major U.S. cities simply reported zero hate crimes.
Endemic hate crimes underreporting was a problem before the system transition. To address inadequate local monitoring of hate crimes, AJC supported the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden last year.
“The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act was named after victims of fatal hate crimes whose attacks never made it into a Hate Crime Report. With such insufficient data for 2021, how many victims’ attacks are going unreported?” said Deutch.
AJC presented findings of its annual State of Antisemitism in America report to the FBI in 2020 and 2021 and shared AJC’s Translate Hate to enhance the bureau’s comprehension of antisemitism, including its conspiratorial nature.
“We appreciate the FBI’s efforts collecting and reporting on hate crimes, and for the work the bureau does every day to keep Americans safe,” Deutch said. “We look forward to working with the FBI and law enforcement agencies across the United States to secure reliable hate crimes data in the future.”