Government efforts to protect people from bias-motivated violence varied from state to state and city to city in the United States. Our research found different practices with regard to critical anti-bias crime measures such as hate crime investigation protocols, prosecution, bias crime tracking, and community outreach. The most successful efforts to combat backlash violence-as in Dearborn, Michigan, where only two violent September 11-related assaults occurred in a city with thirty thousand Arab-Americans-correlated with prior recognition that backlash attacks against Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs, and South Asians are a recurring problem; a high degree of affected community access and input into law enforcement planning and decision-making; and combined efforts by local, county, state and federal authorities.
Government officials face a complex challenge in seeking to prevent spontaneous, unorganized bias-motivated acts of violence. The experiences discussed below reveal the importance, first of all, of a serious commitment to act decisively before, during, and after outbreaks of such violence. They also reveal the efficacy of specific steps taken in some jurisdictions that may serve as a model for others.
Public statements embracing the millions of law-abiding Arabs and Muslims as part of American society and communicating that hate crimes would not be tolerated were among the most effective measures that countered and contained September 11-related violence.152 Arab and Muslim activists believe that anti-backlash "messages" by prominent political and civil society leaders helped stem the number of backlash attacks.
The most notable public figure decrying September 11-related hate crimes was U.S. President George W. Bush. On September 12, 2001, in published remarks to New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, President Bush stated: "Our nation should be mindful that there are thousands of Arab-Americans who live in New York City, who love their flag just as much as [we] do, and...that as we seek to win the war, that we treat Arab-Americans and Muslims with the respect they deserve."153 Less than a week after the September 11 attacks, President Bush made a highly visible visit to the Islamic Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., and in a speech there stated:
Similar statements were made by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Ralph Boyd, and released to the press in public meetings with Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian community groups.155 Around the country, and in every city researched for this report, governors and mayors appeared publicly with victim communities to condemn backlash hate crimes and went on record as saying that perpetrators would be prosecuted.156 Leaders of affected community groups said the willingness of public officials to directly condemn hate crimes made those communities feel more secure during a time of significant fear and imparted an important message to the public that backlash hate crimes were unacceptable and misguided.157
In addition to public statements from individual government officials, legislative bodies also condemned backlash crimes. The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution on September 15, 2001 condemning hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians.158 Similarly, the United States Senate, recognizing the disproportionate number of attacks against turbaned Sikhs, passed a resolution introduced by Senator Richard Durbin condemning hate crimes against Sikhs in the United States and calling for their prevention and prosecution.159 City entities acted as well. For example, the city of Seattle passed a resolution decrying hate crimes in Seattle. The resolution also called on citizens to report hate crime incidents to government authorities.160
Though the overwhelming majority of public figures in the United States condemned acts of bias after September 11, there were a few who expressed contempt for or bias against Arabs and Muslims. Just a week after September 11, a member of Congress, John Cooksey, told a Louisiana radio station, "If I see someone [who] comes in that's got a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over."161 Similarly, while speaking to law enforcement officers in Georgia, Representative C. Saxby Chambliss stated: "just turn [the sheriff] loose and have him arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line."162 Representatives Cooksey and Chambliss both eventually apologized for their remarks.163
In addition, a few significant religious commentators publicly expressed distrust or anger against Muslims. Franklin Graham, son of the well-known Reverend Billy Graham, called Islam: "wicked, violent and not of the same God."164 Televangelist Pat Robertson, also speaking about Islam, said: "I have taken issue with our esteemed President in regard to his stand in saying Islam is a peaceful religion.... It's just not."165 In the same vein, former Southern Baptist President Jerry Vines told conventioneers at the June 2002 annual gathering of the Southern Baptist Convention that the Muslim prophet Muhammad was a "demon-possessed pedophile." Unlike Representatives Cooksey and Chambliss, these religious leaders have stood by their comments.166
Public messages were also used proactively as a tool to prevent future hate crimes. Two weeks before the September 11 one-year anniversary, the San Francisco district attorney's office embarked on a campaign promoting tolerance by placing anti-hate posters on city buses and bus stops.167 The poster includes the faces of four Arab or Muslims persons or persons who may be perceived as Arab or Muslim under the heading, "We Are Not the Enemy."168 The campaign was prompted by concerns the September 11 anniversary might rekindle backlash animosity and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim violence. According to San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, "With war heating up in the Middle East, we're launching a pre-emptive strike against any backlash against Arab-Americans and Muslims."169 Eight hundred posters were placed on the outside and inside of San Francisco buses. In addition to promoting a message of tolerance, they also encourage citizens to report hate crimes to the San Francisco district attorney's office.
The recent practice of government officials after the arrest of six Muslim men in suburban Buffalo, New York, points to ways in which the government may reconcile efforts to combat terrorism with its duty to prevent hate crimes. 173 Soon after the arrests of the six men, who were accused of having attended an al-Qaeda-run training camp in Afghanistan, New York Governor George Pataki met with local Muslim leaders and stated during a press conference that the arrests should not be used as an excuse to commit hate crimes.174 Similarly, Peter Ahearn, special agent in charge of the FBI's Buffalo field office, publicly stated that hate crimes would not be tolerated.175 The practice in Buffalo, where an announcement of an alleged terrorism investigation breakthrough was coupled with messages decrying bias, proved effective.
Perhaps the best police successes were in Dearborn, Michigan, a city with thirty thousand Arab-Americans that only experienced two violent September 11-related hate crimes. In Dearborn, unlike many cities, the police had a prior working relationship with the Arab and Muslim community, which enabled them to mobilize quickly following September 11. Thus long before September 11, officials within the Dearborn police department were familiar with communities and areas vulnerable to backlash violence, conscious of the history of backlash violence and aware of the possibility that it might occur in the future. Police departments in other parts of the United States did not have this level of previous engagement with backlash issues before September 11. Their policing, therefore primarily consisted of responding to backlash crimes after they occurred.
The measures discussed below detail some of the strategies police used to contain and investigate September 11-related backlash violence.
In Portland, Maine, by contrast, the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence is working with city officials to create a "Rapid Response Plan" to mitigate backlash discrimination in case of any future terrorist act blamed on Arabs or Muslims.177 Stephen Wessler, executive director of the center and author of a report on September 11-related backlash violence against Muslims in Maine stated his fear that "if there is another terrorist attack, we will see a more intensified reaction towards the affected communities...If there is anything government can do to prepare, that will be a big step." Among the measures the center has discussed for possible incorporation into any rapid response plan are: 1) issuance of immediate public statements from government officials condemning discrimination immediately after an event that may trigger a backlash; 2) development of public service announcements urging tolerance before any backlash, which may be broadcast immediately in case of an emergency; 3) gathering intelligence on areas of the city especially vulnerable to backlash violence and creating a plan to rapidly deploy law enforcement officers in those areas in case of an emergency; and 4) creating a "buddy program" which would gather volunteers from non-Muslim communities to travel with Muslims, especially women who wear the hijab, who are afraid to travel alone during a backlash period.178
The Dearborn Police Department was exemplary in its immediate deployment of police officers in sensitive areas of Dearborn immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks. According to community leaders, police were patrolling Arab neighborhoods and mosques by early afternoon on September 11.179 Police on foot stood in areas that could have been attacked and police cars patrolled Arab neighborhoods on September 11 and in the days afterwards.180 The presence of a specially appointed "Arab community police officer" before September 11 also allowed police to gain important intelligence on areas in Dearborn vulnerable to attack. 181 Arab community leaders stated that during the weeks after September 11 most members of the Arab community "felt safer in Dearborn" than outside it because of the increased and visible police presence in their communities.182
Although police departments in New York, Phoenix, and Los Angeles did not have strong pre-existing relationships with the Arab and Muslim community, after the September 11 attacks, these departments nonetheless dispatched police officers to protect primarily Muslim or Sikh places of worship and areas with high Arab, Muslim, Sikh, or South Asian concentrations. In Phoenix, the day after September 11, after consulting with concerned members of the Arab and Muslim communities, the police department established twenty-four hour patrols at area mosques.183 The Phoenix Police Department's bias crime unit credited the department's Muslim community liaison for providing the department with information on the Muslim and Arab community in Phoenix gained through prior interaction with those communities before September 11.184 In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations on September 11 notified the police department of vulnerable "hotspots,", such as mosques and Arab-owned convenience stores. As a result, police were dispatched to protect some of these vulnerable areas. In New York City, Sikh community leaders reported that after a gurdwara was vandalized on September 11, police officers patrolled the area around the gurdwara by foot during the next week. New York City police also provided protective escorts for busloads of Sikhs traveling from Queens to Manhattan for a Sikh community vigil on September 15, 2001, in honor of the September 11 terrorist attack victims.185
Initial Classification of Crimes
In New York, if a responding police officer believed that a hate crime might have occurred, he or she was to report this to the duty captain in the police precinct. If the duty captain also believed the crime to be bias-motivated, the matter was referred to the police department's Hate Crimes Task Force for investigation as a possible hate crime.187 Linda Wancel, head of the Civil Rights Bureau within the Brooklyn district attorney's office, stated that whether a matter was investigated by police as a possible hate crime was "contingent on the duty captain calling it a hate crime... We disagree sometimes with the duty captain not classifying cases as a possible a hate crime."188
In Seattle, staff at the Office of Civil Rights expressed frustration that complaints they received about bias-motivated criminal acts did not appear in monthly hate crime reports produced by the police department. According to staff, the discretion responding police officers to not classify a crime as a possible hate crime, created the possibility that they would investigate many crimes as possible hate crimes despite evidence that they may have been so motivated.189
The Phoenix Police Department, on the other hand, required responding officers to indicate on a police report whether either the victim or the responding officer believed bias motivated the crime. Where any such belief that a bias crime may have occurred existed, no matter how seemingly inconsequential to the responding officer, the responding officer police report was forwarded to the Phoenix Bias Crime Detail, where officers specially trained to investigate hate crimes determined whether there was any bias motivation for the crime.
Hate Crime Units and Institutional
Many local police departments, however, did not have the resources or a sufficient bias-crime caseload to justify training all officers on how to investigate bias crimes or to appoint a specialized bias crime investigator. In Maine, the attorney general's office attempted to address this problem by asking each law enforcement agency in Maine to appoint a "civil rights officer" to review all crime reports for bias motivation indicia. Any report that contains indications of bias is forwarded to the attorney general's office for further review and guidance. Thomas Harnett, a prosecutor in the attorney general's office, stated that this system allows the office to assist local law enforcement agencies with bias crime investigations and also provides a layer of review for their work.191 In the aftermath of September 11, this system was used to refer September 11-related bias incidents to the Maine attorney general's office for review and consultation on further action.192
The number of September 11-related hate crimes prosecuted was, not surprisingly, smaller than the number of September 11-related hate crimes reported. But the proportion of September 11-related crimes that have been the subject of indictment and trial does not appear to vary significantly from the usual rates of indictment and trial for other types of crime. Many variables influence prosecution rates-including the ability of the police to identify a suspect, the quality of the evidence developed against him or her, the seriousness of the crime, and available prosecutorial resources. While our research did not uncover any instances of prosecutorial reluctance to take hate crimes seriously, some community activists expressed concern to us that prosecutors were placing insufficient priority on hate crime prosecutions.
The Department of Justice prosecuted twelve September 11-related hate crimes and cooperated with local county prosecutors in the prosecution of approximately eighty more.
On the local level, the Cook County state's attorney's office prosecuted six September 11-related hate crimes.194 The Los Angeles County district attorney's office prosecuted three September 11-related crimes. In Maricopa County, containing Phoenix, there were three September 11-related hate crime prosecutions.197
Not all post-September 11 bias crimes were prosecuted as hate crimes under state or federal hate crimes legislation. For example, of the twelve September 11-related crimes prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, only half were charged under the federal hate crimes statute. Prosecuting a crime as a hate crime places an additional evidentiary burden on the prosecutor to prove in court not only the regular elements of the crime, but the existence of bias motivation as well.198 Proof of such bias was difficult to demonstrate unless the defendant confessed his motivation, made statements during the crime demonstrating direct bias, or had otherwise clearly signaled his views. In the absence of strong evidence of bias, prosecutors often preferred to utilize regular criminal statutes to secure a conviction.199
According to Thomas Harnett, a prosecutor in the Maine attorney general's office, hate crime perpetrators "believe that their actions have community support." Publicizing prosecutions communicates the error of this belief to potential hate crime perpetrators as well as to the community at large. Indeed, according to Harnett, "one of the reasons we publicized [September 11-related] cases and successful enforcement actions was to instill in the community the belief that these incidents should be reported and when they are reported, victims are safer not more at risk."200 Deepa Iyer of the South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow concurred that publicizing prosecutions lets affected community members know that the government is committed to protecting them and encourages victims to report hate crimes against them.201
In Los Angeles and Phoenix, the district attorneys held press conferences and issued press releases announcing prominent September 11-related prosecutions. In Seattle, the Kings County prosecutor's office issued press releases on September 11-related prominent prosecutions.202 At the federal level, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice issued press releases on most of its twelve September 11-related prosecutions. The Civil Rights Division, however, did not hold any press conferences to publicize its prosecutions, even though some community groups thought press conferences would secure greater coverage.203 The Civil Rights Division nevertheless spread notice of its prosecutions by directly informing Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian community leaders and by sending the news to community e-mail lists.204 Although these communications did not reach the broader American public, they at least informed the affected communities that the federal government was working to punish bias crime perpetrators. The Civil Rights Division also publicized most of the prosecutions on its website, although the website was not always up to date.205
Hate Crime Prosecutor Units
According to Neera Walsh, head of the Cook County prosecutor's office Bias Crime Unit, the existence of a bias crimes prosecution unit permitted the development of specialized expertise to handle the unique challenges posed by hate crimes cases.206 Since September 11, the Bias Crimes Unit has been responsible for the prosecution of six September 11-related bias crimes. Phoenix police investigators also stated that working with prosecutors who specialize in bias crime prosecution gave them more confidence that the effort they put into investigating bias crimes would be taken seriously and better understood by prosecutors with training on understanding the nature of bias crimes.207 Community leaders believe specialized units provided them with a central point of contact and thus enabled them to develop a better relationship with country prosecutors.208
Many small counties did not have the resources or large enough vulnerable communities to justify the creation of bias crime prosecution units. Recognizing the difficulty that small counties had undertaking the prosecution of September 11-related hate crimes, Michigan's attorney general created in May 2002 a Hate Crimes Prosecution Team to enhance the capacity of local prosecutors in smaller counties.209 The team trains local prosecutors in the prosecution of hate crimes against Arab-Americans and Muslims as well as members of any other group that may be targets of bias-motivated violence. It also offers to assist with the prosecution of the bias element of a hate crime during trial.210 The Michigan attorney general's program was unique among the cities and states Human Rights Watch visited because it allowed local prosecutors to have access to expertise in bias crime prosecution without having to develop such expertise within their own agencies.
Crimes with Mixed Motives
Even if state law only permits hate crimes prosecution when bias is the sole motive, it is nonetheless important where crimes have multiple motives that police record such crimes as hate crimes to establish a barometer of a given population's vulnerability.212 Illinois amended its hate crimes law so that a crime may be prosecuted as a hate crime when it is motivated "in any part" by bias.213 Though the purpose of the amendment was to facilitate the use of the Illinois hate crime statute in mixed motive cases, one of the benefits of the law is that tracking of mixed motive crimes is no longer precluded. According to Elizabeth Schulman-Moore of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights in Chicago, as a result of this amendment all crimes with a bias motive "no matter how small" are recognized as such by local government officials.214
Affected Community Outreach
Relationship With Affected
The open channels of communication and high level of interaction between Dearborn officials and members of the Dearborn Arab and Muslim communities enabled community leaders to mobilize officials promptly to address a potential backlash after the September 11 attacks. 217 City leaders also had access to information with which to assess the needs of the Arab and Muslim communities following the September 11 attacks. According to Imad Hamad, Midwest Director of the ADC in Dearborn, Michigan:
The general fear of government among Arab and Muslim immigrant communities remained one of the more significant challenges posed in creating working relationships with those communities on hate crime issues after September 11. According to Rita Zawaideh of the Arab America Community Coalition, an umbrella group of Arab organizations in western Washington: "In countries where many Arab immigrants are from, the government and the police are repressive, they are not your friend."219 This general fear of government was aggravated by the detention and deportation of Muslims and Arabs by the federal government after September 11 and by fears that reporting hate crimes would draw attention to non-citizens who had violated the terms of their visas.220 Kripa Ubadhyay, hate crimes coordinator for the South Asian Network in Los Angeles related her experience organizing a community forum on September 11-related civil liberties issues: "We invited the FBI and INS. One hundred and fifty people attend a similar past forum, however only sixty attended this one. We later found out from many [who didn't attend] that they were afraid of being detained by the INS."221 Similarly, Stephen Wessler of the Center on the Prevention of Hate Violence in Portland, Maine, stated: "what struck me most was not a fear of hate crimes [in the Muslim community], it was a fear of the federal government. The fear of detention or deportation continued even when the fear of hate crimes ended."222
The importance of such training was underscored by Sheila Bell, Communications Director for the Muslim Law Enforcement Officers Association of New York City. As an example, Bell cited the practice in Middle Eastern culture of not looking authority figures in the eye during discussions because doing so is a sign of disrespect. Bell stated that officers in the New York City police department have mistaken this habit as an effort to be deceitful.225 Similarly, Guru Roop Kaur Khalsa, a gurdwara official in Phoenix, narrated a discussion she had with a police officer who along with other officers were assigned to protect the gurdwara shortly after Balbir Singh Sodhi's murder, discussed in section III above.226 The police officer reported to Khalsa that the members of the officers' families were "very nervous" about them protecting the gurdwara because they thought Sikhs might be terrorists affiliated with Osama Bin Laden because of their turbans and beards. 227 After gaining exposure to Sikhs while protecting the gurdwara, the officer told Ms. Khalsa that they felt much more comfortable performing their duties to protect them. 228
On the federal level, the Community Relations Service of the Department of Justice (CRS) organized and sponsored numerous cultural competency training sessions nationwide after September 11 for a wide range of federal employees, including congressional staffers, FBI agents, and federal civil rights officials.229 These forums usually involved presentations by members of the Muslim and Sikh faiths on aspects of their faiths and cultures that may impact the work of federal officials. The sessions typically ended with a question and answer period. On the local level, cultural competency training often was done "on the fly" with government officials and police officers learning about relevant cultural traits of the various communities as they worked with them after September 11.230 In Seattle for example, the police force did not have any training on Muslim practices for police officers. Instead, officers who worked with these communities learned about basic Muslim beliefs as they visited city mosques after September 11.231
In the Dearborn Police Department, language barriers have been overcome by the appointment of an Arab community police officer who speaks Arabic.234 At the national level, the Civil Rights Division has made a concerted effort to publish brochures explaining civil rights protections in the languages of the backlash-affected communities. The brochures, written in languages such as Arabic, Farsi, and Punjabi, have been distributed in the Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities by mailing them to community organizations and places of worship. The Civil Rights Division states that it has mailed thousands of these brochures to affected community groups since September 11.235 They are also available on the Civil Rights Division website.
After September 11, the Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) was especially helpful in identifying civil rights leaders and organizations in the Sikh and South Asian community with whom the Civil Rights Division could work once it was clear that those communities were vulnerable to backlash violence.236 In the Sikh and South Asian communities the CRS was in many cases the first federal government agency to ever contact them.237 The Civil Rights Division appointed specific persons to undertake outreach with each of the affected communities. These persons took calls from community leaders, e-mailed news of progress in backlash-related matters to community e-mail listserves, and spoke at eight community forums organized by the Civil Rights Division nationwide on September 11-related civil rights issues. 238 Leaders of community organizations reported a very high level of satisfaction with their access to liaisons and ability to discuss urgent matters with them.239 The Civil Rights Division was generally known for having an "open door policy" in which "a meeting with division heads can be arranged anytime there is an issue of pressing concern."240
In Seattle, the Mayor created an Arab advisory council after September 11. The Seattle Police Department also made presentations on hate crime issues in each of the eleven mosques in Seattle, providing names and numbers of persons that community members could contact in case they were a victim of a hate crime.241 In Chicago, the creation eight years ago of an Arab Community Advisory Council in the mayor's office greatly facilitated interaction between the mayor's office, the chief of police, and the Arab community both before and after September 11.
Community organizations in New York, especially in the Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh community expressed frustration in their level of interaction with the New York City Police Department and other city officials who might have been of assistance on hate crime issues. Especially in the Sikh and South Asian communities, civil rights activists stated that there was only one community police officer in the whole police department assigned to interact with members of the huge Sikh and South Asian communities.242 Furthermore, Sikh and South Asian community leaders stated that in general government agencies had not organized any forums for the community members to educate them on police protections from hate crimes and that community members did not know who to contact if they were a victim of a hate crime.243
Creation of Hotlines on Hate Crimes
The creation of a federal September 11 hate crimes hotline encountered serious difficulties. On September 14, 2001, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced the creation of a "National Complaint Line... to solicit and catalogue discrimination complaints from Arab and Muslim Americans."244 The number was publicized by numerous Arab, Muslim, and South Asian organizations as a means to complain about hate crimes to the federal government. The number listed on the press release, however, was incorrect, forwarding callers to a dating service.245 Once the correct number was released by the commission three days later, the commission received approximately 140 calls from September 17 to October 2 that it considered possible hate crimes.246 Nevertheless, many persons who called the line did not understand that their complaints would not be forwarded to federal law enforcement authorities. The commission, when requested by Civil Rights Division to forward reports of hate crimes to it or the FBI, refused to do so. The commission maintained that it needed to protect the callers' anonymity so that they would not be discouraged from calling the commission. It also insisted it was an information gathering service rather than a complaint referral service.247
Bias Crime Tracking
Federal Hate Crime Statistics
Over the past eight years, the FBI has encouraged local jurisdictions to report incidents of crime, including hate crime, using the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The NIBRS reporting system provides more than a simple summary count of the number of hate crimes committed in each jurisdiction and the victim type. Under incident-based reporting, local law enforcement agencies provide an individual record for each crime reported to the FBI. Details about each incident include detailed information on the type of offender, victim, offense, weapon used, and location of the offense.
Participation in both the reporting systems is voluntary. Though most police agencies in the United States report hate crimes to the FBI, not all do so. Furthermore, among the agencies that do report hate crimes, many significantly underreport the occurrence of hate crimes in their jurisdiction. A study funded by the Department of Justice found that 83 percent of the law enforcement agencies who participate in either the UCR or the NIBRS report that they had no hate crimes each year.250 Nevertheless, the study found that many of those jurisdictions had hate crimes that were not reported to the FBI. 251 This "false-zero" reporting to the FBI is so severe that the study estimated six thousand hate crimes, almost 75 percent again as much as the total number of hate crimes reported nationwide each year to the FBI, are not included in reports to the FBI.252 Further complicating matters with regard to tracking anti-Arab violence is that the FBI does not track specific ethnic community hate crimes, instead generically classifying any anti-ethnic violence into a single ethnic crime category.
City and State Hate Crime Tracking
The law enforcement agencies in the cities researched for this report-Dearborn, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New York-all participate in the UCR system at the federal level. Some cities and states, like California and Chicago, also have specially tracked and published statistics on September 11-related bias crimes, while others, like Seattle and New York, did not. The Office of the Attorney General for California was the most aggressive in collecting data on September 11-related hate crimes and widely publishing it. The California attorney general's office issued two "Interim Reports" listing the number of September 11-related bias on hate crimes against Arab and Muslims and those perceived to be Arab or Muslim in six large California cities. The attorney general published the data because he believed the information was "central to developing effective measures to combat these despicable acts."253 The first report was issued on October 11, 2001 once it was clear that a widespread backlash, numbering ten incidents per day, was occurring in California; the second was issued on December 11, 2001, after the backlash had significantly decreased to one incident per day.254 To our knowledge, the California attorney general's office was the only state or local government agency to publish data on the September 11 backlash while it was occurring.
In addition to making a special effort to track and publish September 11-related crimes, California also publishes a yearly hate crimes report containing detailed statistical data on the type of hate crimes occurring, the victims, the offenders, location of attacks, and prosecution rates. The yearly report for the year 2001 was published on September 18, 2002. The report found that: "the overall number of hate crimes reported last year actually would have decreased five percent from a year earlier if not for the bias-motivated assaults against Californians victimized because they are Muslim or appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent."255
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations also publishes a comprehensive annual hate crimes report with detailed statistics on hate crimes in Los Angeles County. According to the commission's executive director, the report is the oldest yearly hate crimes report of any jurisdiction in the United States, having been published since 1980.0 Like the California attorney general's report, it includes detailed statistical data on hate crimes each year, including information on the type of the victims, the offenders, location of attacks, prosecution rates, and type of hate crimes occurring. On September 9, 2002, the commission published its annual report for the year 2001.1
The Chicago Police Department has published a comprehensive annual hate crimes report since 1995. On June 27, 2002, it issued its annual "Hate Crimes in Chicago Report."2 The report stated that Chicago police separately tracked September 11-related hate crimes and listed the number of September 11-related hate crimes in Chicago. Like the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations and the California attorney general's annual hate crime reports, the Chicago Police Department report includes information on the type of victims, the offenders, location of attacks, and types of hate crimes occurring, but it does not contain data on prosecution rates.
The Chicago Police Department's annual report is unique in that it also lists the number of "hate incidents," a category which includes bias-motivated conduct that may fall short of violating criminal laws.3 The collection of hate incident statistics gives law enforcement officers clues on areas of the city where racial or ethnic tensions exist that could escalate into hate crimes.4
The Phoenix Police Department simply published on its website the number of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate crimes that occurred in Phoenix for the year 2001, noting with an asterisk that all anti-Arab hate crimes in Phoenix occurred after September 11.5 The published numbers also made the error of separately listing "anti-Muslim" and "anti-Islamic" hate crimes even though the terms are synonymous.
The Dearborn Police Department separately categorized September 11-related hate crimes and logged them for internal investigatory purposes. The Department, however, has not published hate crimes statistics in the past.6 Information on hate crimes in Dearborn is published each year as part of the Michigan State Police department's submission of data to the FBI's Uniform Reporting System program.7
Neither New York nor Seattle publish yearly data on hate crimes. The Bias Crimes Unit of the New York City Police Department did, however, track the number of September 11-related hate crimes in the three months after September 11 for internal investigatory purposes. Seattle did not track such data, and indeed, unlike any city researched for this report, did not track September 11-related hate crimes at all.8 The only published data on hate crimes in New York and Seattle is the data published yearly by the FBI in its annual hate crimes report. This data, as described above, is cursory in nature, providing only the number of hate crimes committed each year and the types of victims attacked. Information on hate crime perpetrators, the location of attacks, the type of crimes committed, or prosecution rates is not included in the Uniform Crime Reporting system used by New York City and Seattle.
152 Human Rights Watch interview with Raed Tayeh, director, American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice, February 21, 2002; Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Deepa Iyer, South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, February 26, 2002.
155 Excerpts of remarks by Attorney General John Ashcroft and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Ralph Boyd, retrieved on September 1, 2002, from http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/legalinfo/dojstatements.html.
158 House Concurrent Resolution 227, "Denouncing Bigotry Against Arabs, Muslims, South Asians," September 15, 2001, retrieved on September 1, 2002, from http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/race/hate/t091801.htm.
159 S. Con. Res. 74, "Condemning bigotry and violence against Sikh-Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001," retrieved on September 1, 2002, from http://www.sikhcoalition.org/LegislativeRes1c.asp.
170 Human Rights Watch interview with Pramila Jaypal, executive director, Hate Free Zone, July 31, 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Raed Tayeh, director, American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice, February 21, 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Joshua Salaam, Civil Rights Coordinator, Council on American-Islamic Relations, February 21, 2002.
176 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with William Haddad, President, Arab American Bar Association, June 17, 2002; Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Stephen Wessler, executive director, Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence, August 27, 2002.
177 The pursuit for the creation of a "Rapid Response Plan" in Portland, Maine comes from a recommendation contained in a report published by the Center entitled, "After September 11: Under standing the Impact on Muslim Communities in Maine," retrieved on September 24, 2002, from http://www.cphv.usm.maine.edu/report.doc.
181 Human Rights Watch interview with Imad Hamad, Midwest regional director, American Arab-Anti-Discrimination Committee, June 5, 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Jaber, executive director, ACCESS, June 4, 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Daniel Saab, Dearborn community police officer, June 1, 2002.
193 See "Charges Filed in Recent Hate Crimes," Press Release, King County prosecutor's office, September 19, 2001, retrieved on August 30, 2002, from http://www.metrokc.gov/proatty/News/Current/Hatecrim.htm; "Attorney General Napolitano, Maricopa County attorney Romley, Others Band Together To Urge Reporting Of Hate Crimes," Press Release, Arizona attorney general, September 20, 2001, retrieved on August 30, 2002, from http://www.attorney_general.state.az.us/press_releases/sept/092001.html.
202 "Charges Filed in Recent Hate Crimes," Press Release, King County prosecutor's office, September 19, 2001, retrieved on August 30, 2002, from http://www.metrokc.gov/proatty/News/Current/Hatecrim.htm.
210 Ibid. Since its creation, the team has offered its assistance to local prosecutors in two matters, one involving the beating of an African-American and the other involving vandalism to the office of U.S. Congressman.
217 Human Rights Watch interview with Imad Hamad, June 5, 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Jaber, executive director, ACCESS, June 4, 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Nasser Beydoun, American Arab Chamber of Commerce, June 5, 2002.
220 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Stephen Wessler, August 27, 2002. See also, "Fear Of Detention Haunts South Florida Muslims; Dozens Held By U.S. Agencies In Terror Inquiries," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, July 9, 2002.
230 Human Rights Watch interview with Sergeant Jerry Hill, August 8. 2002; Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Robin Toma, executive director, Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, August 27, 2002,
235 Human Rights Watch interview with Joseph Zogby, special assistant for the Assistant Attorney General's 9/11 Backlash Initiative, U.S. Department of Justice, March 29, 2002. See http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/legalinfo/nordwg_brochure.html, retrieved on September 23, 2002.
238 Human Rights Watch interview with Joseph Zogby, special assistant for the Assistant Attorney General's 9/11 Backlash Initiative, U.S. Department of Justice, March 29, 2002. See, http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/legalinfo/nordwg_brochure.html, accessed on September 23, 2002.
242 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Sin Yen Ling, attorney, Asian-American Legal Defense Fund, August 26, 2002. Human Rights Watch interview with Pritpal Singh, Sikh Youth of America, August 25, 2002.
244 "U.S. Commission On Civil Rights Announces Complaint Line To Protect Rights Of Arab, Islamic Communities; Urges Tolerance In The Face Of Tragedy," United States Commission on Civil Rights, September 14, 2001.
250 "Improving The Quality And Accuracy Of Bias Crime Statistics Nationally: An Assessment Of The First Ten Years Of Bias Crime Data Collection," The Center for Criminal Justice Policy Research College of Criminal Justice Northeastern University and Justice Research and Statistics Association, September 2000.
254 "Attorney General Releases Interim Report on Anti-Arab Hate Crimes," Office of the Attorney General State of California, October 11, 2001; "Attorney General Releases Interim Report on Anti-Arab Hate Crimes," Office of the Attorney General State of California, December 11, 2001.
255 "Attorney General Lockyer Releases Annual Hate Crime Report Showing Spike From Post 9/11 Anti-Arab Attacks," Press Release, Office of the California Attorney General, September 18, 2002, retrieved on September 18, 2002, from http://caag.state.ca.us/newsalerts/2002/02-106.htm.
8 Human Rights Watch interview with Julie Pate, Seattle Office of Civil Rights, July 31, 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Detective Christie Lynn-Bonner, Seattle Police Department, August 2, 2002.