Washington, D.C., May 11, 2018 ... In testimony before the US Commission on Civil Rights today, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) outlined the urgent need to improve hate crime prevention, training, and response, highlighting a series of specific recommendations to improve hate crime reporting and advance police-community relations. The ADL statement, which was presented by Melissa Garlick, ADL National Civil Rights Counsel, also discussed the current climate of incivility and emboldened hate group organizing, recruitment, and other activity.
“Data drives policy, but national hate crime statistics are obviously incomplete.” said Garlick, “We need to do better, because behind each statistic is a victim injured or intimidated for no other reason than how they worship, who they love, who they are.”
“The federal government has an essential leadership role to play in confronting hate crimes, extremism, and acts of violence motivated by prejudice,” said Garlick. “It cannot do so if it scapegoats Muslims, Hispanics, refugees, or other marginalized communities. At a time of increasing incidents of bias, harassment, and hate violence, this has a direct impact on whether individuals will trust police enough to report crimes, including hate crimes.”
The League’s statement addressed a broad range of issues – including the current climate of emboldened hate, the importance of anti-bias education and prevention initiatives, the need for training and more comprehensive hate crime reporting by federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities, best practices for community responses, and the ways adoption of effective laws and policies and procedures can advance police-community relations.
“For more than thirty years, the US Commission on Civil Rights and its State Advisory Committees have done trailblazing work elevating the issue of hate crime and bias-motivated violence,” said Garlick. “Along with our coalition partners, we stand ready to work with the USCCR to identify and promote the tools needed to prevent hate violence and, when they occur, to improve the response to each and every hate crime in every community in America.”