Democrats demand hearing after uptick found in hate crimes

Property Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley spearheaded the letter. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Photos Democrats demand hearing after uptick in hate crimes

Property Democratic leaders are calling for a hearing on hate crimes in the us, attributing an uptick in such violence to President Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric.

“It’s no magic formula that the rise in hate crimes has tracked with the campaign of the president,” leading Democrats wrote to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in a letter Mon, obtained primary by POLITICO.

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“His stated support for the utilization of violence in addition to sympathy for light supremacist groups has created an atmosphere of dread within all too many American communities,” they continued.

Property Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) spearheaded the letter, that was likewise signed by Congressional Dark Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.).

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairwoman Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), amongst others, also signed it.

Leaders of the House Democratic groups have criticized Trump for what they say is his repeated usage of divisive comments aimed at stoking racial, ethnic and spiritual tensions – from his refusal to condemn light supremacists following the deadly Charlottesville rally to his targeting of black athletes who kneel through the national anthem to protest police brutality.

“Given this disturbing new reality, we urge the committee to convene immediate hearings to handle the rise of hate crimes, the need to bridge the data gap, and actions that lawmakers, police agencies, and our communities can take to prevent these crimes from occurring in the first place,” the Democrats wrote.

The latest FBI report shows an increase in hate crimes last year compared to 2015. The FBI reports 7,615 hate criminal offense victims for 2016, compared to 7,173 documented victims in 2015.

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Democrats say those numbers tend far lower compared to the reality considering that several metropolitan areas with significant populations reported zero hate crimes or choose not to take part in the FBI’s program.

“These figures most likely represent the tip of the iceberg because FBI hate criminal offense data derive from voluntary reports for legal reasons enforcement agencies,” they wrote. “Underreporting of the magnitude most likely paints an inaccurate photo of the situation and hampers our initiatives to handle it.”

A spokeswoman for the House Judiciary Committee did not return a request for comment.

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