FBI and Partners Encourage the Public to Report Hate Crimes
ST. LOUIS, MO—Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Richard Quinn of the FBI St. Louis Division has announced the rollout of a public awareness campaign to inform the public about the FBI’s role in investigating hate crimes, and to encourage victims and witnesses to report it to the FBI. At today’s news conference, SAC Quinn was joined by U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming for the Eastern District of Missouri, and community leaders of the U.S. Attorney’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
In Missouri and across the country, the FBI is raising awareness through different mediums. Our messages will be displayed on metro buses, at light rail stations, bus shelters, billboards along major routes, gas station pumps, on radio and social media.
U.S. Attorney Fleming stated, “We must continue to honor the promise that ‘all [people] are created equal,’ and where equality is compromised or threatened, strive to see it restored. No citizen should be victimized based upon their real or perceived race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The United States Attorney’s Office stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the FBI and other State and Federal partners in their efforts to identify and prosecute ‘hate crimes’ in all forms. We encourage citizens to report these crimes and offer our committed effort to hold the offenders accountable.”
The FBI recently, August 30, 2021, released nationwide statistics on hate crimes reported in 2020. Nationwide, there were 7,759 incidents, the highest in 12 years. In Missouri, there were 115 reported hate crime incidents, the highest in nine years. It is approximately twice as many of the 66 incidents in 2018.
These statistics are based on what’s reported to law enforcement. “Hate crimes are traditionally under-reported to law enforcement,” said SAC Quinn. “It’s important for victims and witnesses to report allegations of hate crimes as soon as possible to give investigators the best chance of collecting evidence and bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
Karen Aroesty, community co-chair for the U.S. Attorney’s Hate Crimes Task Force stated, “The key to improving response and community support is reporting. When traditionally targeted community members know who to contact and have a trusting relationship with advocates and law enforcement representatives, we can be more effective all around".
The FBI is keenly aware that expressing views, no matter how offensive, is not a crime by itself. In fact, non-threatening hate conduct is protected by the First Amendment. However, true threats are not protected by the First Amendment.
A victim or witness of a hate crime can contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov or 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324). You may remain anonymous.
FBI messages about hate crimes publicized through the following:
- Bi-State Metro Buses
- 16 exterior bus ads with different daily routes
- Posters displayed inside 100 buses
- Bi-State Metro Bus Shelter
- 1006 S. Jefferson Avenue (St. Louis)
- MetroLink (5)
- North County Transit Center
- Delmar Loop Transit Center
- North Hanley Station
- Civic Center (Scottrade) Transit Center
- Shrewsbury – Lansdowne 1-44 Transit Center
- Billboards (9)
- I-44 @ Kingshighway (Ended 9/19/2021)
- I-70 @1965 feet west of Missouri River (Ended 9/5/2021)
- I-70 @ 0.3 miles west of I-170 (Ended 9/19/21)
- I-70 & MO-94 SEC (Ended 9/19/2021)
- 5000 Drennen Parkway, O’Fallon, Missouri
- 3963 W. Outer Road, Arnold, Missouri
- 601 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
- 1726 N. Bishop, Rolla, Missouri
- 1929 S. Franklin, Kirksville, Missouri
- Gas Station Pumps (10 locations)
- Richmond Heights
- New Haven
- Washington (4)
- Social Media