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Reasons Law Enforcement Agencies Fail to Report Hate Crimes in Their Jurisdiction

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This assignment will discuss various reasons why law enforcement agencies fail to report hate crimes in their jurisdiction. Also being discussed within this assignment is why victims of hate crimes, such as assaults do not report their victimization to law enforcement.

One of the many reasons law enforcement may not report hate crimes in their jurisdiction could be due to the fact that there are some states that do not have hate crime laws. According to the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign as of 2015, there are five states where laws for hate crimes do not even exist. Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Wyoming lack the necessary tools needed to even classify an act as hate crime. An example of this dilemma became clearly evident in the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina shooting that took place at historically black Emanuel A.M.E Church. It took a day before officials finally announced that the murders would be investigated as a hate crime. The shooter Dylan Roof was federally prosecuted but since then no new strides have been made in pursuit of protecting potential victims. Instead, there is the stigma by many officials that legislation would have an adverse effect on freedom of opinion and speech. Although many other states have laws and guidelines on hate crimes it varies greatly from state to state. An act may classify as a hate crime in one state but in another the victim may not fall under the list of protected classes. Vast variations of inclusions to sexual orientation and gender could attribute to part of the reason why these kinds of crimes do not get reported. Even if there might be a clear law put into place it still may never be reported to lack of training for law enforcement. It stands to reason that if an officer does not know how to handle a potential hate crime they then cannot identify, investigate or report it. Part of the problem that comes with understanding the law is, it may ambiguously written which allows for discretion on how the agency can enforce the law. “Ambiguity results when policy makers create abstract rules designed to cover a wide array of circumstances. Such rules create a framework for rule enforcers but do not dictate specific enforcement actions. Many laws, but especially civil rights laws, contain ambiguous and indeterminate implications for what organizations should do as they operationalize abstract statutes in order to render them enforceable.”

In a lot of cases when it comes to trainings officials can tend to cut out culturally sensitive and hate crime trainings due to tight budgets. Although the 1988 Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act requires all federal departments and agencies to participate in crime reporting, the FBI identified at least 120 agencies are failing to report. Part of the reason that law enforcement is not reporting could simply be due to them not having the digital access and capability to enter the information the gathered into the database. It is very possible that part of the problem lies within the federal government to better the system of tracking and reporting these kids of crime.

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Reasons Law Enforcement Agencies Fail To Report Hate Crimes In Their Jurisdiction. (2019, September 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 28, 2023, from
“Reasons Law Enforcement Agencies Fail To Report Hate Crimes In Their Jurisdiction.” GradesFixer, 13 Sept. 2019,
Reasons Law Enforcement Agencies Fail To Report Hate Crimes In Their Jurisdiction. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Jan. 2023].
Reasons Law Enforcement Agencies Fail To Report Hate Crimes In Their Jurisdiction [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Sept 13 [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from:
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