Hate crimes

Hate crimes are becoming more and more a problem in today’s world. Whether it be with police killing unarmed black men, or hate crimes committed against same sex couples it’s still very much a problem in the world we live in. Hate crimes shouldn’t occur at all because we can’t help the fact that everyone is different and not everyone will have the same outlook on that, but it would help if they did. Many hate crimes caused riots in the recent news we heard about the different black men that have been killed, police are getting away with it. The biggest issue is not punishing someone for what they did and that’s a really big problem for society today. Many different states around the world have different laws that they carry out, but one should never act on a crime because they feel bias towards their victim.
The Mathew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention act came into play in 2009. This act criminalizes willfully causing bodily injury or attempting to do so when:
“The crime was committed because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, of any person or;”
“The crime was committed because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person, and the crime affected interstate or foreign commerce, or occurred on federal property” (FBI, 2010).
But where did this act originally stem from? James Byrd accepted a ride one day from three white men who turned out they didn’t really want to give him a ride. Instead the men beat Byrd up behind a convenience store, stripped him naked and tied him to the truck they were driving in three miles down a road. While dragging down the road on the back of the truck his head and body had hit a sewage drain and he died (Hate Crimes Timeline. n.d.). Matthew Shepard met two men at a bar who decided to drive him to an area that wasn’t easy to find or locate from someone else. Shepard was tied to a split rail fence, beaten, and left there to die (Hate Crimes Timeline. n.d.).
Hate crimes are reported many different ways one being through Uniform Crime Report also known as UCR. In 2013 1,826 law enforcement agencies reported 5,928 hate crime incidents involving 6,933 offenses (FBI, 2014) According to UCR single bias incidents reported that in 2013 48.5 percent were racially motivated, 20.8 percent were sexual orientation bias, 17.4 percent were religious bias, 11.1 percent were ethnicity bias, 1.4 was disability bias, 0.5 percent was motivated by gender identity bias, and 0.3 percent resulted from gender bias (FBI, 2014).Race has the highest percentage in where hate crimes occur more frequently. Perpetrators of hate crimes tend to be more teenagers, young adults, and hate groups. Hate crimes are normally conducted in small groups and the victim is most often a stranger.
As you read many news articles we come across many related to hate crimes. For example, a lesbian couple was caught kissing at Six Flags , New England and two women took it upon themselves to attack the couple and caused injury to them. The two women were later arraigned in court on charges of assault and civil rights violation with injury. The couple found nothing wrong in expressing public affection to others, but to the women it was abnormal. What started out as bias slurs turned out to be a fight between the women just for their sexual preference for the same sex (Newberry, 2015). Or the gay couple in Philadelphia allegedly attacked by “well -dressed mob” in hate crime. The men were on their way to dinner when they came across a “well-dressed” mob that began to be assaulted verbally by being called “ dirty faggs,” and then moved to assault one victim suffered a bone fracture in his face that will require surgery(Nichols , 2014). We all heard stories about Eric Garner that was all over the news that became very viral. A NYPD officer choked an unarmed while trying to arrest him and wrestled him and began to choke him which caused garners death. The chokehold was against the police departments policies and also is a big question as to why the officer did it in the first place. Much controversy over the officer and garner with the officer being white and Garner being black, and why he didn’t stop when Garner said he could breathe. This is a hate crime to many people because of the racial bias that police officers are making towards unarmed black men that are resulting in deaths, and officers getting away with it. What happened in Ferguson brought a lot of controversy as well. Mike brown who was black unarmed man, was shot to death by a white police officer. Even though there are two sides to every story most people consider these hate crimes. For the simple fact that if it was the other way around or they both were the same race it wouldn’t necessarily make national news.
Well how do police respond to hate crimes? Police responding to hate crime it would be their job to first secure the scene. It’s also their duty to make sure the victim receives medical attention if there’s a serious injury and that the witnesses and everyone else have the same safety provided for them. Police officers will identify any evidence left at the crime scene and investigate further information in order to make the arrest of a perpetrator or perpetrators (View Result, n.d.). Courts on the other hand are responsible for carrying out the appropriate punishment for the hate crime. Since hate crimes are both motivation and illegal behavior counseling or some type of rehabilitation may also be necessary. Punishment for a hate crime can simply be being placed in prison. Many argue that prison will not help and since prisons are so diverse, yet segregated it may cause them to be more bias and continue to be perpetrators of hate crimes. Victim offender mediation may also be put into place to try and solve problems between victim and the perp the whole purpose would be to reconcile (Hate Crime-Criminal Justice, n.d.).
Hate crimes have many theories. One being group conflict theory, which means that people tend to become friends with people that have similar interests as them and it makes them more comfortable than someone who appear to be “different than them,” which would cause conflict between people. Social learning theory suggests that the way people act attitude wise , values they have, and beliefs of those who belong to specific groups are learned through influencing figures which could be anyone from a parent , peers, or just anyone in general that one admires deeply and looks up to. Parents have a huge impact on their kid’s life because your child looks up to you and grows up by watching things they do and say. For example, if your parents are prejudice and there’s prejudice going on in the household you’re more likely going to grow up and be prejudice as well. Strain theory is another one. For example, strain theory says that crime is the product of being able to achieve your goals and be successful and not being able to achieve those goals because you don’t have the financial, or intelligence to do so. So those who aren’t able to reach their goes under strain theory would consider them to be under a “strain.” Therefore, the frustration that comes along with not being able to achieve goals or succeed in life causes criminal behavior (Paper on Hate Crime, p.4,n.d.).
In order for hate crimes to decrease in society we need to start by doing things to prevent it. One way to start is by starting with yourself. Showing good examples to those around you and a positive attitude will go a long way. Work with other people in the community school, businesses, etc.… to make people aware of hate crimes and ways to prevent them as well. Being stereotypical is a good way for a hate crime to start so with accepting everyone and not judging a book by its cover will be a great start. Stereotypes lead to many differences between people because we look at people at how other people portray them or how media would portray them but we don’t take it upon ourselves to actually get to know the person we just judge based off of information we hear (Crime Prevention, n.d.). Media, training, further educating yourself on hate crimes and public awareness are all great ways to spread words and prevent crimes from happening, too.

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