Hate crimes on the rise in Illinois, but there are gaps in reporting

FBI Hate Crimes
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 5:14 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - The Anti-Defamation League believes hate crimes are happening more often, even when there’s a lack of reporting and data.

Hate crimes nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021, with 56 hate crimes reported in 2020, and 91 in 2021 in Illinois. However, within that increased number are also large gaps in the data. Chicago, for instance, didn’t report a single hate crime for the entirety of 2021.

While there was a rise in hate crimes, there was a drop in the number of agencies reporting hate crimes. Nearly 700 agencies contributed hate crime data in 2020, while only 358 did so in 2021.

The Anti-Defamation League believes it may be because the FBI switched over to a new system for collecting and tracking crime data. They believe other police agencies don’t have the means to update their systems in order to properly report hate crimes. ADL receives reports of their own, but crime data can help direct resources and policy, according to Midwest Regional Dir. David Goldenberg.

“We do hope frankly by calling out departments to be open and honest about it is that we hope they will invest in the necessary resources,” Goldenberg said. “Unfortunately we know they’re going to continue. It just takes one person to commit an act of hate but there are so many others in a larger community who can respond to it.”

Peoria agreed to participate in data collection but reported no hate crimes.

Goldenberg said there’s a continued trend in hateful actions against Asian Americans and members of the LGBTQ+ community, but that Black and Jewish populations continue to face the most discrimination based on race and religion respectively.

The local data coincides with national trends. The ADL reported 7,262 hate crimes across the country. That number could be even higher, as the data gaps remain nationwide.