There is a strong perception in the Hispanic community that Hispanics are frequently subjected to illegal arrests, arrests on weak suspicion, illegal detention and corporal handling by the police.
Compared to Anglos, Hispanics are jailed more than bailed. Hispanics also believe that, beyond Anglo proportions, they are convicted with little evidence and sentenced to more severe punishments and longer incarceration. Instances of violence by police and the arrest of Hispanics with less evidence than is required to arrest Anglos have been sufficiently numerous to cause alarm among private agencies and government bodies whose functions are to keep watch over the rights of citizens.
The brutality and illegal arrests are not the pattern but only the exception. That some Anglos have grievance similar to those of Hispanics; that the poor of any ethnic group suffer disadvantage and are less able to engage counsel, provide bail and pay fines, do not mitigate the situation. The contrary is true, for the percentage of poor and uneducated within the Anglo majority is more than double within the Hispanic minority. This, even if there were no race national origin biases in administration of justice, the social and economic class system would itself carry a burden of blame for the lack of equal protection and uniformity of treatment.
Studies have shown that permissive law enforcement and police brutality are the two basic reasons for minority group resentment of the police. Studies have also revealed that police have been charged with failure to promote adequate protection and services in the Barrios, and with abuse of authority and physical or verbal misconduct in relation to Hispanics and other minorities. These same studies have concluded that police misconduct such as brutality, abuse of authority, ethnic slurs, or discourteous behavior, especially when such actions go unpunished, not only constitute a serious threat to community support of the police but also undermine the citizens’ respect for law enforcement agencies and for the law itself.
LULAC is of the opinion that, in rather striking ways, the administration of justice clearly appears to fail in affording quality of treatment to Hispanics and other minorities, so fundamental to a democratic society. LULAC further believes that the status “Hispanic” entails greater risk of involvement with law-enforcement processes than does the status of “Anglo.”
LULAC, therefore, affirms its commitment to the elimination of discrimination in all forms within law enforcement agencies to ensure that Hispanics and others do not continue to be victims of police abuse.
There is no choice for us but to address all forms of police abuse and break down some of the barriers to good relations between Hispanics and law enforcement agencies.
Adoption by law enforcement agencies of policies and plans to reduce discrimination and police abuse is a must. LULAC must pursue whatever remedy is most appropriate to address administration of justice issues, whether it be through dialogue with law enforcement officials, mediation conducted by third parties, investigations conducted by state or federal agencies, and at last recourse, by filing for remedy in federal court.
The law enforcement issues offer LULAC an excellent opportunity to continue to get involved in an area that is so uniquely within its domain.
A. Proof in Police Brutality:
1. The most important aspect of proof is WITNESSES.
B. What To Do With Proof:
1. A complaint and possibly a petition signed by
individual members of the community or representatives of other
interested community organizations, affidavits, pictures, and other
proof should be sent to the proper local authorities, such as:
C. Demand For An Investigation:
The affidavits, pictures and other proof should be accompanied by a letter in which the demand is made for an investigation by the proper authority.
D. Demand For Action:
The demand for an investigation should be accompanied by a demand for suspension of the police officer during the investigation and for appropriate action against the guilty officer. When police brutality against Hispanics is a problem in your community, ask authorities to call the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division:
The number is 202-514-2151.
That is the division that investigates allegations of police abuse.
E. Keep Records:
Each LULAC office should keep a file of every incident of police brutality within its jurisdiction so it can prove that a police officer or law enforcement agency has a bad record. Even if no action is taken, such records should be kept.
All records of minor police infractions should be kept as well. If possible, newspaper records should be cataloged. Past abuses may be discovered through newspaper library catalogs and listings on the subject.
F. Civil Action:
Either the person who has been a victim of police brutality or, if dead, his relatives may institute a civil action for damages against appropriate parties under the Federal Civil Rights Act to recover for injuries or wrongful death.
It is necessary that we confront both kinds of police misconduct: (l) harassment or abuse of discretion; and, (2) incidents which result in physical injury.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In that light consider the following:
1. Present a plan for a civilian review board to the
local police administrator and top local political officials.
OTHER POLICE ISSUES:
A. Identification of Issues/Concerns/Perceptions:
The following issues, concerns and perceptions are common in many law enforcement agencies where Hispanics are a large segment of the community population:
a) Under representation of Hispanics at all levels of
law enforcement agencies’ professional staff;
B. Perceptions Inventory:
The following instrument “Perceptions Inventory of Administration of Justice Issues” can be used to validate what people are thinking and to develop a true list of issues for your community.
Based on your experience in the community and dialogue with community groups and individuals, respond to the statements below. Your responses are expected to reflect your judgement about the Hispanic community’s perception of disparity of treatment in the administration of justice (police issues) and the level of confidence in systems for redress of grievances.
Simply, in your best judgement, would the Hispanic community strongly agree, or strongly disagree, with the following statements? Any statement with which you strongly disagree, should be a concern for which potential remedies need to be sought.
Circle your best response; 1 indicates you strongly agree with the statement, and 5 that you strongly disagree.
1. The police department is as concerned about
starting crime watch programs in the Hispanic neighborhoods as in
non-Hispanic neighborhoods. 1 2 3 4 5
For each of the statements for which you circled either a 4 or 5, you and your group should develop a concise Issue/Concern/Perception statement for which a remedy should be sought. Take a look at the Concerns/Issues/Perceptions on the sample memorandum of agreement and understanding on page 61 for assistance. Also review the list of common Issues/Concerns/Perceptions under III-A (Identification of Issues/Concerns/Perceptions) on page 56.
Those have been successfully used for discussion (mediation) purposes with police departments. For each Concern/Issue/Perception statement develop a list of potential solutions. Those potential solutions can then be used as talking points with the police chief, sheriff or other law enforcement officials during discussions (negotiations) as part of the mediation process. For help, look at the (draft) memorandum of agreement and understanding agreed upon solutions on pages 62.
C. Conflict Resolution options:
1) Resolution of issues/concerns/perceptions directly:
All efforts possible should be undertaken to resolve
these issues, concerns or perceptions through direct dialogue with the
officials responsible for the law enforcement function (i.e., chief of
police, sheriff, city manager, mayor, border patrol chief, INS district
Local mediation services may be available in local communities by non-profit conflict resolution agencies. If such are not available, consider contacting the Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice in your region to request assistance.
That agency has the power of mediation to produce a mutually desirable outcome in even the most difficult circumstances. The agency brings opposing parties together to hear each other’s point of view and find the common ground. Since the parties may have never engaged in such a dialogue, the act of coming together may itself help ease tensions and reduce misunderstanding.
But the most compelling reason to attempt conflict resolution through mediation is that, if a lasting solution is found, everyone benefits including aggrieved Hispanics, the police, and the entire community. Moreover, if it fails, neither the law enforcement agency nor the involved Hispanics will have lost their right to pursue other courses of action open to them.
3) Assistance from the State Attorney General’s Office:
The Attorney General of each state is the chief law enforcer for the respective state. The Attorney General’s Office investigates complaints of police abuse, as do the State Troopers.
4) Assistance from the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice:
Telephone number 202-514-2151. This is the federal agency with responsibility for investigating police misconduct. The office is in Washington, D.C., and usually uses the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to conduct its investigations.
5) Lawsuits in court:
An individual whose civil rights have been violated has a right for redress no matter what other options may have been employed to resolve an issue. That individual should consult a civil rights attorney for assistance.
Civil rights attorneys usually take cases on a contingency basis, meaning that he or she will get paid only if he prevails in a case. However, some civil rights attorneys ask for funds to conduct depositions and for extra-ordinary costs.
LULAC SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES
To Address Administration of Justice Issues:
1. Provide community leadership by helping to identify
problems/issues/concerns by holding meetings of the membership and other
interested community individuals at which discussions are held.
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT AND
During a July 10, 2003 meeting between the XXXXXXXX Police Department and representatives of the LULAC Council, the XXXXXXXXXX Mexican Society and the XXXXXXXXXXX NAACP Chapter, mediated by the Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice, the following issues/concerns and solutions were discussed and agreed upon by the parties:
1. The perception by some citizens, particularly
Hispanics, that the local police often use excessive force while
enforcing laws, especially when arresting Hispanics;
AGREED UPON SOLUTIONS
The following are the agreed upon solutions that resulted from the July 10, 2003 meeting:
The Police Department agrees to:
1. give consideration to the establishment of a police/residents advisory committee that will promote cooperation and understanding between the XXXXXXX police Department and all sectors of the community.
a. If the decision is to establish the committee, the
Chief of Police may request the assistance of the Community Relations
Service (CRS) for assistance in developing a structure.
2. requesting the Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice, to obtain municipal/civil liability and civil rights training for all members of the XXXXXXX Police Department.
a. The Police Chief agrees to invite other law
enforcement agencies in the area to participate in the training.
3. request the assistance of the Community Relations Service (CRS), to assist in the review and update, if necessary, its Use of Force policies and procedures;
4. requesting the assistance of the Community Relations Service (CRS) in the view and update, if necessary, the department’s citizen complaint mechanism in both English and Spanish;
5. continue to provide cultural awareness training opportunities to all members of the police force;
6. initiate, with the assistance of LULAC, the Mexican Society and the NAACP, a minority recruitment plan that will enhance the potential for recruiting minorities, especially Hispanics; and,
7. explore providing Spanish language training opportunities for those members of the department that need it.
The parties agree that the XXXXXXX Police Department and the representatives of the XXXXXXX LULAC Council, the Mexican Society and NAACP that came together to discuss the above issues and will continue to meet on a quaterly basis to monitor implementation of the provisions of this Memorandum of Agreement and Understanding and to discuss other issues that may be raised from time to time by either party.
Should there be disagreements over this Memorandum of Agreement and Understanding’s interpretation or implementation that cannot be resolved by the parties themselves, either party may request CRS’s assistance in convening the involved parties to resolve their concerns.
This Memorandum of Agreement and understanding becomes effective ______________ and expires on __________ but may be dissolved by the mutual consent of all the parties.
The parties involved recognize that although this agreement was entered on a voluntary basis, it is important that a good faith effort be made in carrying out its provisions. Amendments to this agreement will be made only upon the mutual consent of the XXXXXXX Police Department, LULAC, the Mexican Society and the NAACP.
POSSIBLE POLICE/ADVISORY COMMITTEE BY-LAWS
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of the committee is the Police/Citizens Advisory Committee of the XXXXXXX Police Department.
ARTICLE II: PREAMBLE AND PURPOSE
To promote cooperation and understanding between the XXXXXXX Police Department and all sectors of the XXXXXXX community.
ARTICLE III: ACTIVITIES
A. Assess and advise the Police Chief on conditions in
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIPS
A. Membership shall consist of ______ people living in
the City of XXXXXXX.
ARTICLE V: OFFICERS
B. Nominations shall be made at the ________ meeting.
Election by secret ballot and installation of
C. Duties of Officers
D. Term of Office
ARTICLE VI: POSSIBLE SUB-COMMITTEES
The Police/Citizens Advisory Committee shall be organized into the following sub-committees in an effort to develop public support:
A. Public Relations Committee
OTHER ARTICLES AS SEEN FIT:
SAMPLE RESIDENTS COMPLAINT MECHANISM
Your XXXXXXX Police Department is dedicated to providing the best police service possible to all of XXXXXX residents. Your police officers are carefully selected and given the best training possible in order to provide this service. However, you may have occasion to lodge a complaint about the actions of a member of the XXXXXXXX Police Department. In order to be responsive to you, we are providing the following information about how complaints are made, how they are investigated and their results.
I. How Are Complaints Made?
TEXAS STATE LAW requires that all complaints against police officers must be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint. Just as residents who are arrested must be notified of the charges against them, the police officer must be given a copy of the complaint before any disciplinary action may be taken. Complaints must be made within 30 days of the incident complained about, except in special cases such as criminal misconduct or when good cause can be shown by the person complaining.
Complaints must be made by the person who claims to be aggrieved. Other persons may give statements as witnesses. The Assistant Chief of Police will conduct a thorough investigation of your complaint, and you will be advised of the result and action taken. Traffic tickets issued or differences of opinion between police officers and a resident over the issuance of a traffic ticket, or regarding guilt or innocence of a person arrested, will not be investigated, unless there is specific allegation of misconduct against the officer.
II. False Complaints.
He makes a false statement under oath or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made; and, the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath.
A person convicted under this Section can be punished by a fine up to $2,000.00 confinement in jail up to one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment. This information is not intended to intimidate the resident or prevent valid complaints, but provided to avoid revenge against officers.
What Happens When A Complaint Is Found To Be True?
1. Reprimand the employee.
What Happens If Complaint Is Not True?
Officers Can Appeal The Decision.
III. What If You Are Not Satisfied With The Decision?
1. The office of the Chief of Police, located at
XXXXXXX Street in the Police Building.
The XXXXXXX Police Department is vitally interested in the welfare of all XXXXXX residents and in taking action where its employees have proved derelict in their duties or are guilty of wrongdoing. If it becomes necessary for you to make a complaint, you can be assured that it will be given a fair and thorough investigation.
By the same token, if you have occasion to see a police officer doing outstanding work, tell him or us about it. Your XXX police officers are individuals who are dedicated to serving you and our community.
MUESTRA DE MECANISMO DE QUEJA CIUDADANA
QUEJAS CONTRA OFICIALES DE POLICIA
El departamento de Policía esta dedicado a ofrecer el mejor servicio posible a todas las personas de la ciudad de XXXXXXX. Sus oficiales de policía son escogidos cuidadosamente y se les da el mejor entrenamiento posible para ofrecer este servicio.
Sin embargo, puede ser que usted tenga motivo de presentar una queja tocante a las acciones de un miembro del departamento. Para darle mejor respuestas, le ofrecemos esta información sobre como presentar una queja, como es investigada y sus resultados.
¿COMO SE HACE UNA QUEJA?
Sus oficinas abren de las 8:00 a.m. hasta las 5:00 p.m. cada día de trabajo. Investigadores especiales son designados para revisar e investigar su queja.
La ley del estado de Texas requiere que toda queja contra oficiales de policía debe estar escrita y firmada por la persona afectada.
Asi como ciudadanos que son arrestados deben ser notificados de los cargos en contra de ellos; el oficial de policía debe darle una copia de la queja antes de que cualquier acción de diciplina sea tomada. Las quejas deben ser hechas dentro de los primeros 30 días del incidente, excepto en casos especiales (tales como mala conducta criminal cuando hay motivo y pueda ser probado por la persona afectada). Las quejas deben ser presentadas por la persona quien reclama haber sido maltratada. Sin embargo otras personas pueden dar declaraciones como testigos.
Si el individuo hace una declaración bajo juramento, o jura la verdad de una declaración falsa hecha anteriormente, y la declaración es requerida o autorizada por ley para ser hecha bajo juramento. Una persona declarada culpable bajo esta sección puede ser castigada con una multa de hasta $ 2,000 encarcelada hasta por un año o la multa y el encarcelamiento juntos.
¿QUE PASA CUANDO UNA QUEJA SE ESTABLECE COMO VERDAD?
1) reprender al oficial;
LOS OFICIALES PUEDEN APELAR LA DESICION
HATE CRIME: THE VIOLENCE OF INTOLERANCE
The Community Relations Service (CRS), a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, is a specialized Federal conciliation service available to State and local officials to help resolve and prevent racial and ethnic conflict.
VIOLENCE AND CIVIL DISORDERS
When governors, mayors, police chiefs, and school superintendents need help to defuse racial crises, they turn to CRS. CRS helps local officials and residents tailor locally defined resolutions when conflict and violence threaten community stability and well-being. CRS conciliators assist in identifying the sources of violence and conflict and utilizing specialized crisis management and violence reduction techniques which work best for each community. CRS has no law enforcement authority and does not impose solutions, investigate or prosecute cases, or assign blame or fault. CRS conciliators are required by law to conduct their activities in confidence, without publicity, and are prohibited from disclosing confidential information.
In 2002-2003, CRS was involved in over 150 hate crime cases that caused or intensified community racial and ethnic tensions. As authorized by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS became involved only in those cases in which the criminal offender was motivated by the victim’s race, color, or national origin.
Hate crime is the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability. The purveyors of hate use explosives, arson, weapons, vandalism, physical violence, and verbal threats of violence to instill fear in their victims, leaving them vulnerable to more attacks and feeling alienated, helpless, suspicious and fearful. Others may become frustrated and angry if they believe the local government and other groups in the community will not protect them. When perpetrators of hate are not prosecuted as criminals and their acts are not publicly condemned, their crimes can weaken even those communities with the healthiest race relations.
Of all crimes, hate crimes are most likely to create or exacerbate tensions, which can trigger larger community-wide racial conflict, civil disturbances, and even riots. Hate crimes put cities and towns at-risk of serious social and economic consequences.
The immediate costs of racial conflicts and civil disturbances are police, fire, and medical personnel overtime, injury or death, business and residential property loss, and damage to vehicles and equipment. Long-term recovery is hindered by a decline in property values, which results in lower tax revenues, scarcity of funds for rebuilding, and increased insurance rates. Businesses and residents abandon these neighborhoods, leaving empty buildings to attract crime, and the quality of schools decline due to the loss of tax revenue. A municipality may have no choice but to cut services or raise taxes or leave the area in its post-riot condition until market forces of supply and demand rebuild the area.
CRS BEST PRACTICES: TO PREVENT HATE CRIMES FROM ESCALATING RACIAL AND ETHNIC TENSIONS INTO CONFLICT OR CIVIL DISTURBANCES
From years of experience with hundreds of hate crime cases that have caused or intensified community-wide racial and ethnic tensions, CRS recommends certain “best practices” to prevent hate crimes and restore harmony in the community.
Hate Crime Ordinances are a Deterrent
A core responsibility of government is to protect the civil rights of its citizens and to advance its inherent obligation to ensure good race and ethnic relations. This tenet cannot be abrogated and such a commitment requires no special funding.
A government can confirm its commitment to the safety and well-being of its citizens by establishing an ordinance against hate crime activity or enhancing the punishment for hate crime. It can also encourage compliance with existing equal opportunity statutes.
A local government may establish an ordinance against hate activity modeled on existing hate crime law in effect in that State. Punishment is enhanced by promulgating guide lines or amending existing guidelines to provide varying offense levels for use in sentencing. There should be reasonable consistency with other guidelines, avoidance of duplicative punishments for the same offense, and consideration of any mitigating circumstances.
Compliance with existing statutes can be achieved by training law enforcement officers to enforce existing statutes, imposing fines or penalties when ordinances are violated, reviewing licenses or privileges, reviewing tax exempt status, and providing incentives or awards.
A local government may also establish boards or commissions to review and analyze hate crime activity, create public service announcements, and recommend measures to counter hate activity. In September 1994, Congress also enacted a Federal hate crime penalty enhancement statute Public Law (103-322 ß28003), which would increase the penalties for Federal crimes where the victim was selected “because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.”
Local Actions to Improve Communication
When left unresolved simmering racial and ethnic friction can be triggered by a hate crime into a community-wide conflict or civil disturbance. Communication and interaction between majority and minority groups is often a key factor in preventing tensions or restoring harmony.
A Human Rights Commission (HRC) can facilitate and coordinate discussions, training, and events for the benefit of everyone. An HRC can create a forum for talking about racial and ethnic relations and encourage citizens to discuss their differences, commonalities, hopes and dreams.
Forums could focus on the common features of community life, including economic development, education, transportation, environment, cultural and recreational opportunities, leadership, community attitudes, and racial and ethnic diversity.
The Commission can use multicultural training and special events to promote harmony and stability. Also, see A Policymaker’s Guide to Hate Crimes, published by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice. Telephone: (800) 688-4252, or visit their home page at www.ojpusdoj.gov/BJA
Coalitions Create a Positive Climate
Racial and ethnic tensions increase during periods of economic downswings. Hate crimes may occur when unemployed or underemployed workers vent anger on available scapegoats from the minority groups.
Coalitions of representatives from political, business, civic, religious, and community organizations help create a positive climate in the community and encourage constructive dialogue.
Coalitions can recommend initiatives to help racial and ethnic communities affected by the loss of jobs, including programs and plans to help local government ensure an equitable disbursement of public and private funds, resources, and services.
Inclusion Increases Confidence in Government
Hate crimes can often be prevented by policies designed to promote good racial and ethnic relations. Local governments can assure that everyone has access to full participation in the municipality’s decision-making processes, including equal opportunity for minorities to be represented on appointed boards and commissions. Local governments might institute a policy of inclusion for appointments on boards and commissions. The policy could require listing all appointive positions, and notifying all racial and ethnic groups of open seats through the minority media.
Schools and Police Must Work Together
Racial and ethnic tensions may increase in schools when there are rapid demographic or socio-economic changes. Tensions may result from the perception of unequal educational opportunities or disparate practices in hiring faculty and staff within the school district.
Preventing and dealing with hate crimes and hate-based gang activity in schools are the responsibility of school and police officials, who should work together to develop a plan to handle hate crimes and defuse racial tensions. Hate crimes can be school-related, community-related, or a combination of both. Officials should consider prevention and response roles, identify potential trouble sites, and plan for phased police intervention.
Tension can be eased by regular communication with parents, students, media, and other community organizations. Mediation and conflict resolution classes develop the capacity of young people to peacefully settle disputes and conflicts.
For more information on how to prevent and counter hate crime in schools, contact the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), U.S. Department of Justice. See also OJJDP’s A National Hate Crime Prevention Curriculum for Middle Schools. Telephone (800) 638-8736, or visit their home page at www.ncjrs.org/ojjhome.htm
Rumors Fuel Racial Tensions and Conflict
Law enforcement officers believe rumors aggravate more than two-thirds of all civil disturbances. When racial or ethnic tensions may become heightened by exaggerated rumors, a temporary rumor control and verification center is an effective mechanism to ensure accurate information.
A temporary rumor control and verification center typically is operated 24 hours a day during the crisis period by a local government agency. It is staffed by professionals and trained volunteers. The media and others should publicize the telephone number.
The Media Can Be a Helpful Ally
The influence of the print and broadcast media on preventing and investigating hate crimes cannot be overstated. The media is critical in shaping public attitudes about the crime, its perpetrators, and the law enforcement response.
The media can play an important role in preventing hate crimes from increasing community tensions. Local officials should designate an informed single-point-of-contact for hate crime information.
Accurate, thorough, and responsible reporting significantly improves the likelihood that stability and harmony will be restored. The media can promote public understanding of mediation and conflict resolution processes, and help alleviate fear, suspicion, and anger.
Community Policing Should Be Well Planned
During the transition by a local law enforcement agency from traditional policing to community-oriented policing, retention of the agency’s Community Affairs/Relations Office should be carefully considered.
During the transition to community-oriented policing, some law enforcement agencies may choose to close their community relations once, encouraging their community policing officers on the beat to learn who the key community leaders are in their patrol sectors. In this case, the department must make certain it does not lose institutional knowledge about community leaders, the mutual benefit of a working relationship, and the means to learn about and work with up-and coming leaders.
The experience gained by officers permanently assigned to monitor and work on community relations matters should be used in this transition period. If the office is to be disbanded, community leaders who have worked with the officers in the past should be consulted on the proposed changes during the planning process.
Hate Crimes Must Be Investigated and Reported
Findings on the exact number of hate crimes and tends are difficult to establish and interpretations about hate crimes vary among individuals, law enforcement agencies, public and private organizations, and community groups.
A municipality should assure that its law enforcement agencies adopt the model policy supported by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for investigating and reporting hate crimes, you may contact them at (703) 836-6767.
This model policy uses the standard reporting form and uniform definition of hate crime developed by the FBI after passage of The Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA), 28 U.S.C. 534, enacted April 1990, as amended by the Church Arson Prevention Act of June 1996 (The HCSA also requires the collection of data on crimes based on religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and disability).
The FBI offers training for law enforcement officers and administrators on developing data collection procedures. For more information, call the FBI at 1-888-UCR-NIBR. CRS and the FBI recommend a two-tier procedure for accurately collecting and reporting hate crime case information, it includes:
1. the officer on the scene of an alleged bias crime
making an initial determination that bias motivation is “suspected” :
For more information, see the FBI’s Training Guide for Hate Crime Data Collection and Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines, you may contact them at (304) 625-4995.
See also Hate/Bias Crimes Train-the-Trainer Program, conducted by the National Center for State, Local and International Law Enforcement Training. Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Department of Homeland Security, you may contact them at (912) 280-5208
Hate Crimes and Multi-jurisdictional Task Forces
Multijurisdictional or regional task forces are an effective means of sharing information and combining resources to counter hate crime activity.
Some local governments have institutionalized sharing of expertise and agency resources through memorandums of understanding. For example, creating a coalition of public and private agencies and community organizations will give cities in the county or region a complete and thorough range of resources and information to promote racial and ethnic relations and counter hate crimes. This network or consortium can also work with coalitions created especially to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.
Such a coalition might include the district attorney, the city attorney, law enforcement agencies, and civil rights, community, and educational organizations. This partnership links Prosecutory and law enforcement victim assistance and victim compensation services. See also OVC’s National Bias Crimes Training:
For Law Enforcement and Victim Assistance Professionals. Telephone (202) 307-5983, or visit their home page at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/
On November 10, 1997, at the White House Conference on Hate Crime, the President declared “Starting today, every United States Attorney in our country will establish or expand working groups to develop enforcement practices, and educate the public about hate crimes.
This national hate crimes network will marshal the resources of Federal, state and local enforcement, community groups, educators, and antiviolence advocates, to give us another powerful tool in the struggle against hate crimes.” For more information on local efforts in you area, call the hate crime coordinator in your U.S. Attorney’s office.
CRS SERVICES THAT DEFUSE HATE CRIME ACTIVITIES
When hate crimes threaten racial and ethnic relations or escalate community-wide tensions, CRS offers five types of services. To determine the best service(s), CRS conciliators meet with elected officials and community leaders, analyzing a variety of indicators, including causes, potential for violence or continued violence, extent of dialogue, communication and interest in working cooperatively to restore harmony and stability. The five services are:
1) Mediation and Conciliation.
Mediation and conciliation are two techniques used by CRS to help resolve community-wide tensions and conflicts arising from hate crimes. CRS conciliators provide representatives of community groups and local government leaders with an impartial forum to help restore stability and harmony through orderly dialogue and clarification of the issues. CRS establishes with the parties the ground rules for discussion and facilitates the meetings.
2) Technical Assistance.
CRS can assist local officials and community leaders with developing and implementing polices, practices, and procedures to respond to hate crimes and garner the support of residents and organizations to ease tensions and help end conflicts.
CRS can conduct training sessions and workshops to teach patrol officers and residents how to recognize a hate crime, gain support of the community early in the investigation, and begin the identification of victims and witnesses to the crime. CRS can teach community leaders and volunteers how to prevent the likelihood of more hate crimes, and how to assist and share information in the investigation by law enforcement agencies. Volunteers can serve in such valuable roles as rumor control, initiating community watch patrols, and raising public consciousness about types of hate crimes and those who perpetrate such offenses.
4) Public Education and Awareness.
CRS can also conduct hate crime prevention and education programs in schools, colleges, and the community. These programs break down barriers, build bridges of trust across racial and ethnic lines, develop mutual respect, and reduce fear.
In 2002-2003, CRS services were requested by more than 150 school districts and over 50 colleges. CRS helped to address conflicts and violence, reduce tensions, develop plans to avoid potential incidents, and conduct training programs for students, teachers, administrators, and parents. CRS offers six school-based programs. An example is Student Problem Identification and Resolution (SPIR), a conflict resolution program designed to identify and defuse racial tensions involving students at the junior and senior levels.
SPIR assists school administrators in addressing racial and ethnic tensions through a carefully structured process that involves students, teachers, administrators, and parents.
A further development of this program, called SPIRIT, involves local law enforcement agencies as key partners in the design of an action plan. CRS now trains officers to conduct the SPIRIT program as a part of a process to strengthen cooperation among law enforcement and school officials.
5) Event Contingency Planning.
CRS, at the request of either local officials or demonstration organizers, can assist in contingency planning to ensure that marches, demonstrations, and similar events occur without exacerbating racial and ethnic tensions and minimizing the prospect of any confrontations. CRS can also train community residents to plan and monitor local-level events. CRS assistance is often requested when demonstrations an marches are scheduled. For example, CRS has helped scores of municipalities with KKK rallies and counter-demonstrations.
PUBLICATIONS AND RESOURCES
American Jewish Committee
Center for Democratic Renewal
Japanese American Citizens League
LA County Commission on Human Relations
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium
National Conference for Community and Justice
People for the American Way
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice & U.S. Department of
See; “Information for parents and teachers.”
Customer Service Standards Community Relations Service Our goal is to provide sensitive and effective conflict prevention and resolution services CRS will meet the following Standards:
• We will clearly explain the process that CRS uses to
address racial and ethnic conflicts and our role in that process.
If you are a participant in a CRS training session or conference, you will receive timely and useful information and materials that will assist you in preventing or minimizing racial and ethnic tensions. We will be prepared to provide on-site services in major racial or ethnic crisis situations within 24 hours from the time when your community notifies CRS or CRS becomes aware of the crisis. In non-crisis situations we will contact you to discuss our services within three days of when your community notifies CRS or when CRS becomes aware of the situation.
CRS HEADQUARTERS, REGIONAL AND FIELD OFFICES
Regional Offices and States Within Each Region
REGION I - New England
REGION II - Northeast
REGION III - Mid-Atlantic
REGION IV - Southeast
REGION IV - Miami Field Office
REGION V - Mid-West
Detroit Field Office - Region V
REGION VI - Southwest
Houston Field Office - Region VI
REGION VII - Central
REGION VIII - Rocky Mountain
REGION IX - Western
San Francisco Field Office- Region IX
REGION X - Northwest
CRS World Wide Internet; www.usdoj.gov/crs/crs.htm