Major Metropolitan Areas Did Not Submit Data to FBI, Causing Severe Undercount of Hate Crimes

Law enforcement agencies are currently not mandated to report data for UCR reports: reporting is voluntary. Data for the 2021 report — released on Dec. 12 — was derived from 11,883 law enforcement agencies. 6,929 agencies — almost one third — did not provide data.

Overall, 7,303 hate crimes were reported for 2021, a drop from 2020, in which 8,263 hate crimes were recorded by the FBI.

John Duran, a Southern California-based civil rights attorney and LGBTQIA activist who served on the California Hate Crimes Commission in 1987, told Ethnic Media Services that the FBI made significant changes in reporting requirements, but failed to train law enforcement personnel in the new procedures.

Manju Kulkarni, Executive Director of AAPI Equity Alliance, and co-founder of the web portal Stop AAPI Hate, believes there is no “nefarious intent” by law enforcement agencies who did not submit data this year. “I believe most state and local law enforcement agencies in California do take hate crimes very seriously.”

Despite under-reporting, FBI Uniform Crime Reports data reveals that hate crimes against the AAPI community have nearly doubled since 2019. In 2021, 305 hate crimes targeted Asian Americans, 214 targeted Sikhs, 33 targeted Pacific Islanders, 29 targeted Buddhists, and 10 targeted Hindus. Disaggregated data for other Asian sub-ethnicities is not collected by the FBI.

Stop AAPI Hate, a web portal which allows victims to self-report hate crimes or incidents, logged 4,632 reports in 2020, and 6,273 reports in 2021. The vast majority of these incidents were not hate crimes, said Kulkarni, noting that verbal harassment which makes up the bulk of reports, is not prosecuted.

One in 5 AAPI individuals have experienced some sort of hate incident amid the pandemic, she noted, adding that victims need access to resources that can help them report and heal.

Read more at Ethnic Media Services