Know Your Rights–What to Do if You’ve Been a Victim of a Hate Crime

The FBI recently released statistics on hate crimes committed in the US in 2015.  Hate crimes are one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice and the FBI because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities.

A hate crime is defined as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

Hate crime statistics recently released by FBI (credit: FBI)
Hate crime statistics recently released by FBI (credit: FBI)

If you, or someone you know, is the victim of a hate crime and feel unsafe, call your local police department immediately. The FBI works with its law enforcement partners to investigate hate crime allegations. Success in helping keep our community safe depends on the public’s cooperation and increases when hate crimes are promptly reported and all potential evidence is preserved to assist in the investigation.

Oftentimes, victims of hate crimes are afraid to come forward or lack the confidence that law enforcement will actively investigate their claims.  We want to assure the residents of our district that our offices are committed to investigating and prosecuting hate crimes and encourage those who find themselves on the receiving end of a hate crime, or are a witness to a hate crime, to call either the FBI at (313) 965-2323 or the United States Attorney’s Office at (313) 226-9151.

“Hate crimes laws are designed to protect members of all groups, whether they are members of minority groups or majority groups,” McQuade said.  “We take these crimes very seriously because of the harm they cause to the victim and the fear they create in other members of the same group.”

“The FBI is committed to defending the civil rights of everyone.  To that end and in coordination with our local and state partners, we will investigate acts that involve the use of or threat of force against an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, national origin, disability, or gender “, said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI. “In addition to harm to a victim or damage done to a victim’s property, hate crimes are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community.  The FBI won’t stand by idly when hate crimes are committed.”



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