Hate / Bias Crimes
The Wilton Manors Police Department is committed to letting our community know that hate and bias motivated crimes will not be tolerated. As such, reporting and investigating these hate crimes is a top priority for our agency. Chief Gary Blocker states, “Our Police Department remains passionate in our endeavor to promote a safe Island City that one day can be free of hatred and bias. Our agency stands ready to eradicate hate through our commitment to aggressively investigate crimes predicated on bias.”
We encourage anyone in our community who has been the possible victim of a hate crime (regardless of the nature or type of incident) to come forward, report the crime or incident, and to work with us to bring the perpetrators to justice. Should you experience an incident of this nature and need emergency assistance please call 9-1-1 otherwise call 954-764-HELP (4357) for non-emergencies.
There are certain definitions and laws that help define hate crimes. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Hate itself is not a crime - and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties. Federal Laws enacted by Congress providing identification and prosecution of Hate Crimes include:
- Civil Rights Act (1968)
- Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994)
- Church Arson Prevention Act (1996)
- Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009)
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (F.S.S. 775.085 & F.S.S. 877.19) defines Hate Crime as a committed or attempted criminal act by any person or group of persons against a person or the property of another person or group, which in any way constitutes an expression of hatred toward the victim because of his/her personal characteristics. Personal characteristics include:
- gender/gender identity
- ethnicity/ancestry/national origin
- sexual orientation
- advanced age
- mental/physical disability
- homeless status
These are some steps you can take if you have been the victim of a Hate Crime:
- Get medical help if necessary
- Write down any and all of the details of the incident as soon as possible. Include the perpetrator[s] gender, age, height, race, weight, clothes and other distinguishing characteristics. If any threats or biased comments were made (such as anti-gay epithets)
- File a police report
- If you believe the incident was bias-motivated, urge the officer to check the “hate/bias-motivation” or “hate crime/incident” box and have them complete this section on the police report.
- Notify your local community organizations about the incident
- Find support from friends and/or family
- Seek professional help from an affirmative therapist
- Use local and national resources:
We are excited to join other law enforcement agencies around the U.S. that have accepted the Police Foundation’s Police Data Initiative and look forward to sharing lessons learned and best practices with them through this process. Our participation in the Police Foundation’s Police Data Initiative will be ongoing and will help demonstrate transparency and build trust and confidence within the community.
By participating in this Initiative, we are committing to making data available in an open and transparent way so that our community and everyone in our agency continues to know that the issue of hate crime is taken seriously and that we are holding ourselves accountable for reporting and investigating these crimes.
The Police Data Initiative was launched in 2015 and continues today, with 141 U.S. law enforcement agencies participating. For more information on the Initiative or to view the open hate crime data released through this Challenge, visit www.policedatainitiative.org/datasets.
For more details about the Hate Crimes reported in the State of Florida see the Florida Attorney General's Civil Rights website.
|Case Number||Date||Offense||Type||Num of Persons||Race||Sex||Location Type||Hate Target|
|43-1709-012716||09/19/2017||Criminal Mischief||City of Wilton Manors||0||n/a||n/a||Bridge||Anti-Jewish|