September 1, 2021
For Immediate Release
David Inoue, Executive Director, email@example.com, 202-607-7273
Sarah Baker, VP Public Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2020 FBI Crime Statistics report was released earlier this week and serves as a reminder of the importance of tracking and recording hate crimes data. From 2019 to 2020 the number of incidents of Anti-Asian hate increased 70%, from 161 to 274. In comparison, overall hate crimes increased only 6.5%. This disproportionate increase is alarming but fails to capture the full scope of what the Asian American community has experienced in the past year and a half. Other community-based sites have collected reports of over 9,000 incidents from March 2020 to June 2021. Crimes are either not being fully reported and recorded due to victim reticence or an agency’s failure to report, or possible hate crimes are not being identified by law enforcement and prosecutors. This was demonstrated recently in the high-profile Atlanta area shootings where the murderer was not charged with racial bias by one of the prosecutors despite the specific targeting of Asian-owned and operated businesses.
Law enforcement must do a better job working with the Asian American community to ensure that all incidents are reported and considered seriously. Programs such as the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Services need to be better utilized to establish a greater understanding between law enforcement and the community.
Anti-Asian hate is intolerable, and these numbers encompass only a few of the experiences that our communities have faced in the last year. We recognize that accurate data can lead towards the allocation of resources towards our Asian American communities that are in need right now. The JACL continues to fight for accurate reporting and legislation that combats the threat of Anti-Asian hate.
If you or someone you know has experienced an incident of Anti-Asian hate please reach out to these resources for help:
To report a hate crime, call your local law enforcement at 911. To report an incident to Federal Law Enforcement Contact the FBI through your local field office