The FBI is engaged in a nationwide effort to build public awareness of hate crimes and to encourage reporting to law enforcement. Los Angeles is running advertisements in multiple languages in key areas to reach a variety of communities with diverse populations.
Hate crimes are among the highest priorities at the FBI because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities. Hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim—they are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community.
The FBI is the lead investigative agency for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes. The Bureau works closely with its local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners in many of these cases, even when federal charges are not pursued. The FBI also works to detect and prevent incidents through law enforcement training, public outreach, and partnerships with community groups.
The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”
“Those who commit attacks motivated by hate may target an individual but they can affect an entire group of people,” said Kristi Johnson, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The FBI is reaching out to groups commonly targeted with hate crimes to encourage reporting by those who may not realize how or where to report the circumstances of their situation. Our agents who investigate civil rights work with local police to investigate hate crime allegations—and with the United States Attorney’s Office—to pursue federal prosecution using civil rights statutes where appropriate.”
Advertising has already begun in some areas in southern California and more will be added in the coming weeks. The ads will run throughout the seven-county region covered by the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office and will be seen on billboards, transit, social media platforms, and at gas station monitors. Radio ads have also begun to air on various stations in English and in Spanish. Ads have been placed in the local region in various languages including Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Tagalog. Materials for communities will also be printed in Arabic, Pashto, and Farsi. FBI personnel will be made available to the media, as well, to discuss the initiative.
“No one should experience violence, threats, and discrimination based on their race, religion, or national origin,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. “Our office will continue working with the FBI and our other partners in law enforcement to empower those who report hateful acts and to prosecute those who commit them.”
The FBI works to protect all victims of crimes, regardless of their country of national origin or immigration status. The FBI encourages victims and witnesses of any hate-related incident to report it to law enforcement. After a report is submitted, the FBI will work with its law enforcement partners and use its resources and expertise to determine if an incident meets the criminal standard.
The most recent hate crime statistics released by the FBI can be found here: https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-2020-hate-crime-statistics
If you believe you are a victim or a witness of a hate crime, we encourage you to report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submitting a tip at tips.fbi.gov. You may remain anonymous.