Following the release of the 2015 hate crime statistics and increased media reports of hate crimes and violence following the 2016 election, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman held a roundtable discussion yesterday to discuss the recent rise in hate crimes. Attorney General Schneiderman also announced that his office is ready to protect the civil rights of all New Yorkers and issued a bulletin to law enforcement providing guidance to identify, investigate and prosecute hate crimes.
“There has been a troubling wave of hate-motivated violence in the wake of the recent election, including against LGBTQ people,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “The tragic impact of these hate crimes is felt by families, friends and entire communities, creating fear and instability that ripples across the country — including right here in New York. We applaud New York Attorney General Schneiderman for stepping up and taking action to help address these attacks and call upon law enforcement officials around New York to be vigilant and responsive.”
Earlier this week, HRC responded to the release of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Hate Crime Statistics for 2015. Statistics on bias-motivated incidents based on gender identity—added for the first time in 2013—have increased from 31 reported to the FBI in 2013 to 114 in 2015. While growing, the number likely only represents a fraction of such cases given that thousands of law enforcement agencies throughout the country did not submit any data. In addition, the data shows a 3.5 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents due to sexual orientation—1,053 incidents in 2015.
HRC advocated for more than a decade for the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), which added hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity bias, among other biases, to the federal hate crimes statute. HRC continues to press for improved efforts to prevent and respond to hate crimes, including amending the HCPA to mandate reporting, passage of state laws to protect LGBTQ people from the crimes, and expanding education and training initiatives. To view whether your state’s hate crime statute includes crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity, explore our state hate crimes page here.