The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Rights Group Slams FBI for Incomplete Hate-crime Report

by Sarah Dahnke

Oct. 23, 2006 – The Federal Bureau of Investigation released its 2005 hate crime statistics on Monday only to be met with criticism from an anti-discrimination group.

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The report, which includes data from hate-crime reports submitted by city, county, state, tribal and federal law-enforcement agencies, said that 7,163 criminal incidents involving bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or physical or mental disability were reported in 2005. The incidents resulted in 8,380 criminal charges.

These numbers represented a slight decrease from 2004 in number of reported hate crimes and the number of agencies reporting them.

New York City and Phoenix did not report data. Several smaller police departments around the country chose not to report as well.

Because the data is "clearly incomplete," the 2005 report drew the ire of the Anti-Defamation League, a group that works to counter discrimination against Jews. Deborah M. Lauter, ADL director of Civil Rights, said in a statement that the 2005 report marks a setback to the progress the Bureau has made in its hate-crime program.

The ADL has requested both New York City and Phoenix report their hate-crime data to the FBI immediately and take steps to ensure timely delivery of the information in the future.

The ADL said hate crimes "make members of minority communities fearful, angry and suspicious of other groups," which can fragment and polarize communities.

An FBI statement said that nearly 17,000 agencies report data in a given year, but computer problems, changes in record management systems, personnel shortages and a number of other reasons may prevent some agencies from providing data for publication.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Sarah Dahnke is a contributing journalist.