The Rise of Hate Crimes in Big Cities
Salt Lake City may not be considered one of America’s biggest cities. But it is the largest city in Utah. Like many metropolitan areas, Salt Lake City shares many of the same problems facing other major cities, including unemployment and crime. But one particular type of crime that is on the rise is hate crimes. In recent months, there have been a sharp increase of incidents involving attacks against American Jews, Muslims and African Americans. But these attacks go beyond just violent acts against people. They also involve the vandalization of churches, cemeteries, churches and synagogues. Now a new study conducted by California State University San Bernardino has revealed statistical increases in cities including New York, Chicago and Columbus, OH.
Here are some of the shocking numbers.
- Hate crimes increased by 24 percent in Chicago in 2016–the highest since 2010
- Seattle reported a 6 percent rise in malicious harassment
- The State of New York reported a 6 percent increase in hate crimes
- Montgomery County Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C. had a whopping 42 percent increase in hate crimes
- New York City had a 24 percent increase–the largest in more than a decade
- Cincinnati reported a 38 percent hike in hate crimes
What is a Hate Crime?
According to the FBI, a hate crime is defined as “a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, disability or gender identity.” The most recent FBI report on hate crimes goes back to 2015. The statistics are just as frightening. Incidents against Muslim Americans increased by 67 percent. The problem appears to be getting worse with the recent attacks on Jewish community centers, schools along with bomb threats made against mosques.
A Divided Nation
Politics can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Regardless of your political affiliation, the recent political elections revealed the nation is more divided than ever. Among the result include the rise of hate groups. For example, the number of anti-Muslim hate groups have increased to 101 in 2016–up 34 percent from 2015. But solely blame politics for the rise in hate crimes would also be a mistake. Many also see it as a response to terrorist attacks. The rise of white nationalist groups are also being blamed for the increase of hate crimes against Jews.
Lawmakers in Salt Lake City recently introduced new hate crime legislation. Known as Senate Bill 72 and sponsored by Senator Daniel W. Thatcher (R-West Valley), it already faces huge obstacles of passing into law. Many senators are questioning the language of the bill and whether it is targeting certain groups of people as more dangerous than others. The bill has yet to pass any Senate Committee.
How A Salt Lake City Hate Crimes Attorney Can Help
The rise in hate crimes has also resulted in the increase of people wrongly accused of these heinous acts. The accusation of a hate crime can severely damage a person’s reputation and bring severe penalties. It is vital to have an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney that can protect your rights. Attorney David Paul White understands the tremendous obstacles facing those accused of hate crimes in Salt Lake City. He and his team of legal professionals work diligently in the courtroom and behind the scenes to help place each client in the best position to succeed. To learn more on how to resolve these criminal charges,contact the Law Offices of David Paul White & Associates and schedule a consultation today.