AG News Release: Hawaii Attorney General Joins a Bipartisan Coalition of 35 Attorneys General Calling on Congress to Pass the Jabara-Heyer No Hate ActPosted on Apr 13, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom
HONOLULU – Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors joined a bipartisan coalition of 35 attorneys general led by Attorneys General Karl A. Racine (D-DC) and Derek Schmidt (R-KS) today 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 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.
“The rise of hate and extremist-based crimes demands a response at all levels of government.” said Attorney General Connors. “State and local law enforcement agencies need the appropriate tools and data to combat these crimes, which is why I support passage of the NO HATE Act.”
The letter states that 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. 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.
Attorney General Racine co-led this letter with Attorney General Schmidt, and they were joined by the attorneys general of Alaska, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Illinois, Iowa, 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, Washington, and Wisconsin.
A copy of the letter can be found here.
For more information, contact:
Gary H. Yamashiroya
Special Assistant to the Attorney General
Email: [email protected]