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ADL Welcomes Decrease in Hate Crimes in Colorado

Denver, CO, November 16, 2015… The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the release of the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report which showed a decline in hate crimes reported nationally, including in Colorado. While the data shows a mixed trend in the Mountain States Region, the publication of this data is an invaluable tool to understand the nature and magnitude of the problem in order to address it. The HCSA report, released annually since 1991, is the most inclusive report on hate crime data in the U.S. across the country.

Highlights of the data for the Mountain States Region include an increase in the reported number of aggravated assaults in Colorado that were bias motivated and 34 reported anti-Black hate crimes in the state.  A key concern is the fact that three Colorado cities with a population over 100,000 – Boulder, Thornton and Westminster – reported zero hate crimes.

ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott L. Levin released the following statement:

We are optimistic about the decrease of hate crimes reported for Colorado in the recently released HCSA report from the FBI. This data is the jumping off point for an effective response.  While there are some promising trends, there is clearly much work left to be done.

We are concerned that, once again, over 60 percent of the religion-based hate crime nationally continues to be against Jews and Jewish institutions.

Boulder, for example, is one of 104 cities in the United States with a population over 100,000 that either did not report hate crime data to the FBI or affirmatively reported zero hate crimes. This would be welcome news, if true. But the underreporting also raises concerns about the agency training to identify hate crimes and readiness to respond.  We stand ready to assist with improving training and to work with officials to identify steps to ensure an effective response to hate violence.

The number of hate crimes, while down, remains far too high.  We call on law enforcement and community leaders to invigorate efforts to respond to and prevent hate crimes in Colorado and to pass hate crime legislation in Wyoming.

ADL is launching a new campaign, 50 States Against Hate to improve responses to hate crimes across the country. Working with dozens of national and local civil rights organizations, the campaign seeks to improve hate crimes laws and policies and to promote training to ensure effective hate crimes response and prevention efforts.  For more information on the campaign, visit www.adl.org/50statesagainsthate.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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