FBI launches ‘Hate Crimes Awareness’ campaign in Mississippi

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has made hate crimes awareness a priority in MIssissippi.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has made hate crimes awareness a priority in MIssissippi.(ktuu)
Published: Oct. 3, 2021 at 4:19 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Jackson Field Office is launching a “Hate Crimes Awareness” campaign as part of a nationwide effort to encourage reporting to law enforcement.

Earlier this month, advertisements containing information on how to report hate crimes were installed on 13 billboards across the state.

Last week, a bus wrapped in the campaign graphics was released on the Mississippi Coast and an additional bus will be released in mid-October.

Hate crimes are defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report as a committed criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.

Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program because of the devastating impact they have on the victims, their families and their communities.

“Hate-motivated crimes against anyone will not be tolerated by the FBI,” said Jermicha Fomby, special agent in charge. “The FBI is dedicated to pursuing offenders of these heinous crimes and holding them accountable for their actions.

“If you are a victim or witness of a hate crime, you are encouraged to report it to local law enforcement and the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI.”

Tips can also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov.

According to the FBI’s UCR, of the Mississippi law enforcement agencies who submitted data, there were 64 hate crimes reported in 2020, a significant increase from the 14 reported in 2019.

The report can be found at https://crime-dataexplorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/hate-crime.

The FBI is the lead investigative agency for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes, which include hate crimes.

The FBI works closely with state, local, and tribal authorities on hate crime investigations, even when federal charges are not brought.

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