The Anti-Defamation League has called into question the validity of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation’s newly released national hate crime statistics on
Monday, calling them incomplete.
According to the FBI’s 2012 national
Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA), an annual publication drawing on law
enforcement records from across the United States, 5,796 hate crimes were
committed in 2012, a 7 percent decline over 2011.
These figures according
to the ADL, the lowest rate since the program’s inception in 1991, do not take
into account hate crimes committed within the jurisdictions of a quarter of
American law enforcement agencies.
Reporting such statistics to the FBI
is purely voluntary and “only 13,022 law enforcement agencies out of
approximately 18,000 provided data to the FBI in 2012,” the ADL stated. 1,478
additional agencies contributed records in 2011.
organization’s “profound disappointment” in the agencies that declined to
participate in the study, ADL National chairman Abraham Foxman called the FBI
report a “significant setback in the progress that has been made over the past
“Especially disappointing is the fact that the report contains
no data from jurisdictions that had been models for national response in the
past,” he said. “The Justice Department and the FBI should use every resource at
their disposal to push harder to obtain this missing data, urging those cities
and states that still have not provided their 2012 hate crime data to do so as
quickly as possible.”
The ADL stated that it is working with partners to
“reboot the HCSA collecting and reporting program” and is urging retraining for
law enforcement in order to ensure more comprehensive reporting in the
“When an agency does not participate in the HCSA program, it
inevitably raises questions about whether that agency is truly ready and willing
to respond to hate violence effectively,” Foxman alleged.
the HCSA 2012 report, 1,340 people, or 18.7% of victims of hate crimes, were
targeted due to their religious beliefs. Jews represented the most targeted
faith, comprising 62.4%. Jews were followed by Muslims at 11.6%.
were 674 anti-Jewish incidents nationwide constituting 696 criminal offenses,
the FBI reported.
Almost half of all hate crimes were racially motivated,
followed by 19.2% of them due to sexual orientation. 12.1% were targeted due to
national origin or ethnicity and 1.4% fell victims due to their
“Simple assault” accounted for nearly 40% of those reported
and “most hate crime incidents (32.6%) occurred in or near homes,” the FBI
stated in its release announcing the report.
The FBI’s figures are lower
than those cited by the ADL in their annual audit, released in July. According
the ADL 2012 saw 17 physical assaults, 470 cases of harassment or threats and
440 cases of vandalism in which the target was Jewish and the motive allegedly
While reporting an overall decline, anti-Semitic incidents spiked
in New York last year, the ADL found. A total of 248 instances were recorded,
amounting to a 28% increase.
At the time the ADL said that the number of
physical assaults has remained relatively stable.
According to the Kantor
Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry’s 2012 analysis of worldwide
anti- Semitism, white supremacy, which has been on the rise since 2009, is one
of the major sources of anti-Semitism in the United States.
the ADL’s July figures an encouraging sign, stating at the time that American
Jews have seen “a fairly consistent decline in the number of anti-Semitic
incidents in the United States.”
Michael Wilner contributed to this