In New York City and across the United States, Hate Crimes are carried out with the intent of harming or intimidating a victim The Community Relations Service (CRS), an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, is a specialized Federal conciliation service available to State and local officials to help resolve and prevent racial and ethnic conflict, violence and civil disorders. When governors, mayors, police chiefs, and school superintendents need help to defuse racial crises, they turn to CRS. CRS helps local officials and residents tailor locally defined resolutions when conflict and violence threaten community stability and well-being. CRS conciliators assist in identifying the sources of violence and conflict and utilizing specialized crisis management and violence reduction techniques which work best for each community. CRS has no law enforcement authority and does not impose solutions, investigate or prosecute cases, or assign blame or fault. CRS conciliators are required by law to conduct their activities in confidence, without publicity, and are prohibited from disclosing confidential information.
In 1997, CRS was involved in 135 hate crime cases that caused or intensified community racial and ethnic tensions. As authorized by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS became involved only in those cases in which the criminal offender was motivated by the victim’s race, color, or national origin. Of all hate crime incidents reported to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1996, 72 percent were motivated by the victim’s race, color, or national origin.
Hate crime is the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability. The purveyors of hate use explosives, arson, weapons, vandalism, physical violence, and verbal threats of violence to instill fear in their victims, leaving them vulnerable to more attacks and feeling alienated, helpless, suspicious and fearful. Others may become frustrated and angry if they believe the local government and other groups in the community will not protect them. When perpetrators of hate are not prosecuted as criminals and their acts not publicly condemned, their crimes can weaken even those communities with the healthiest race relations.
Of all crimes, hate crimes are most likely to create or exacerbate tensions, which can trigger larger community-wide racial conflict, civil disturbances, and even riots. Hate crimes put cities and towns at-risk of serious social and economic consequences. The immediate costs of racial conflicts and civil disturbances are police, fire, and medical personnel overtime, injury or death, business and residential property loss, and damage to vehicles and equipment. Long-term recovery is hindered by a decline in property values, which results in lower tax revenues, scarcity of funds for rebuilding, and increased insurance rates. Businesses and residents abandon these neighborhoods, leaving empty buildings to attract crime, and the quality of schools decline due to the loss of tax revenue. A municipality may have no choice but to cut services or raise taxes or leave the area in its post-riot condition until market forces of supply and demand rebuild the area.
Victims and Perpetrators
In 1996, the FBI received reports of 10,706 hate crimes from State and local law enforcement agencies, involving 11,039 victims, and 10,021 known perpetrators. The crimes included 12 murders, 10 forcible rapes, 1,444 aggravated assaults, 1,762 simple assaults, and 4,130 acts of intimidation.
Among the known perpetrators, 66 percent were white, and 20 percent were black say New York Criminal Lawyers. Some perpetrators commit hate crimes with their peers as a “thrill” or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; some as a reaction against a perceived threat or to preserve their “turf’; and some who out of resentment over the growing economic power of a particular racial or ethnic group engage in scapegoating.
Contact the Office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates, where we can offer you guidance and a completely free consultation when you phone us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW. We have offices in New York City, including Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx and in Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County.