4
| News |

Eddie Bernice Johnson Wants FBI to Include Attacks on the Homeless in Hate Crimes Stats

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Last year, The New York Times noted a sharp increase in violent crimes committed against the homeless -- up 65 percent from '05 to '07, according to statistics kept by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. But at the moment, attacks on the homeless aren't considered hate crimes and aren't counted as such by the FBI when it compiles those particular stats. At the moment, the Hate Crimes Statistics Act only demands the Justice Department gather from local law enforcement agencies data concerning crimes that "manifest prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity," then include those numbers in the agency's annual uniform crime statistics report.

But Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson wants to change all that: Yesterday, she introduced a bill that calls for including crimes against the homeless in the FBI's uniform hate crimes statistics; not surprisingly, the bill is called the Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Statistics Act of 2009, and the entirety of the proposed legislation can be found after the jump. Says Johnson, "In the past 10 years, there have been 880 reported cases of violence against people who are homeless, including 244 that have resulted in death. Homeless advocacy organizations have tracked these statistics in the absence of uniform law enforcement reporting. It is clear that homeless people are targeted simply because they are homeless, and it is time for the federal government to start tracking the number of violent attacks more closely."

Homeless Hate Crimes Stats 2009

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.