Hate Crimes

Hate Crimes

The ACS State Attorneys General Project develops, collects, and disseminates legal resources highlighting and examining the authority and actions of state attorneys general in key policy areas. This page collects resources related to hate crimes.

California Department of Justice, Hate Crimes

The California Department of Justice’s Hate Crimes page links to more information about the  Hate Crimes Rapid Response Team’s protocol for deploying resources of the Department of Justice to aid and assist local and federal law enforcement authorities in the investigation of possible hate crimes, and in the identification, arrest, prosecution, and conviction of the perpetrators of those crimes. It also provides information about what Californians need to know to protect themselves, and links to brochures and graphics in multiple languages.

California Department of Justice, Hate Crime From 2009 to 2018, Open Justice

In addition, the Attorney General publishes an annual Hate Crime in California Report assessing the number of hate crime events, offenses, victims, and suspects.

Press Release, Attorney General Bonta Unveils New Guidance, Reports to Help Public and Law Enforcement Better Understand and Address Hate Crimes, State of California Department of Justice (June 30, 2021)

Statement of Toni Michelle Jackson, Deputy Attorney General, Public Interest Division, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, “Hate Crimes in the District of Columbia and the Failure to Prosecute by the United States Attorney’s Office” (Oct. 23, 2019)

Testimony before the D.C. Council in support of legislation that would give DC OAG authority to bring civil actions against those who commit bias-motivated violence.

Office of the Attorney General for the State of Illinois, Guidance to Law Enforcement: Expanded Hate Crimes Law (Dec. 17, 2018)

See, Press Release, Attorney General Madigan: Illinois Strengthens Hate Crimes Law (Aug. 24, 2017)

Press release announcing the enactment of a strengthened hate crimes law initiated by the Illinois Attorney General. The law added the use of technology to stalk, intimidate, and harass to the list of crimes that can be prosecuted as hate crimes, and gave the Attorney General civil enforcement authority.

Press Release, Attorney General Madigan Urges Governor To Restore State Hate Crimes Commission (Mar. 8, 2017).

Press Release from the Office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announcing that the Attorney General sent a letter to Illinois Governor Rauner to restore the state’s Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes to combat “a troubling increase in hate crimes” in the state of Illinois.

Maryland Office of the Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, Strategies for Responding to Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents (2020)

Maryland Office of the Attorney General, Press Release, Attorney General Frosh Launches Hotline to Report Hate Crimes (Nov. 17, 2016)

Office of Attorney General Maura Healy, Protections Against Hate Crimes

Information from the Massachusetts Attorney General about state law protections against hate crimes, and the Attorney General’s authority to address hate crimes and other bias-motivated conduct, including the available remedies.

Michigan Department of Attorney General, Hate Crimes Unit

Officially launched in March 2019, the Hate Crimes Unit within the Criminal Division of the Department of Attorney General is charged with investigating and prosecuting hate crimes.

New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Bias Crime Unit

Located within the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, the Bias Crime Unit coordinates statewide efforts to eliminate crimes motivated by prejudice against others based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or ethnicity. The website provides resources for law enforcement, including Bias Incident Investigation Standards and a Bias Crime/School Memorandum of Agreement addressing how school employees should respond in the event of a hate crime or bias-related act on school grounds.

See also #StoptheHate, the New Jersey Attorney General’s dashboard for resources on bias crimes, civil rights, terrorism, and law enforcement.

See also New Jersey’s 2019 Bias Incident Report

New Hampshire’s Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights Unit, Protocol for Identifying, Investigating, and Reporting Hate Crimes and Civil Rights Violations (Dec. 9. 2019)

New York State Attorney General, Press Release, AG James Launches Hotline to Combat Coronavirus Hate Crimes and Xenophobic Rhetoric (Mar. 23, 2020)

New York State Attorney General, Guidance to Law Enforcement Officials and Prosecutors in the Investigation and Prosecution of Hate Crimes in New York State (Nov. 2016)

Oregon Department of Justice, Bias Crimes

Oregon Attorney General’s online dashboard providing information about Oregon’s Bias Crimes law, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The dashboard includes a public service announcement (PSA) to make Oregonians aware of the state’s new hate and bias crimes law, as well as information about how to report hate and bias incidents, data about bias incidents reported to the Oregon Department of Justice, and resources for victims and service providers.

See, Jake Thomas, Why a new Oregon law seeks to improve how hate crimes are reported Salem Report (Nov. 6, 2019)

Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Combatting Hate Crime Resources

Resource page with information about federal and Pennsylvania laws that address hate crimes and ethnic intimidation.

State of Rhode Island, Office of the Attorney General, Procedure for Joint Investigation of Hate Crimes, Police Misconduct Cases & Related Civil Rights Violations (Dec. 9, 2020)

State of Rhode Island, Office of the Attorney General, Guidance for Law Enforcement Officials: Hate Crimes and Civil Rights Violations (Dec. 8, 2020)

Office of the Attorney General for the State of Utah, Hate Crimes Statute Signed into Law, Provides Protection to All Utahns (Apr. 3, 2019)

Announcement by Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes affirming his commitment to protect victims of hate crimes in Utah.

See, Sean Reyes & Seth Brysk, Guest opinion: Utah’s hate crimes law would protect everyone. Here are the facts Deseret News (Mar. 3, 2019)

Office of the Vermont Attorney General, Hate Crimes

Website providing information about Vermont state law on hate crimes, and the Vermont Attorney General’s authority to provide assistance to victims of hate crimes.

Attorney General of Virginia, No Hate VA

Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s initiative to provide information and resources about hate crimes in Virginia.

Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Report of the Hate Crimes Advisory Working Group (July 2020)

Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Multidisciplinary Hate Crime Advisory Working Group released its report to the Legislature and Gov. Jay Inslee outlining a comprehensive approach to better address hate crimes in Washington. The group calls on the state to improve training for law enforcement, create new avenues for prosecutors to charge crimes and for schools and employers to better educate people about hate and bias. Colleen Slevin, Colorado Attorney General Announces Alliance to Address Hate Crimes, Associated Press (Nov. 18, 2019).

Stephen Montemayor, Minnesota attorney general moves to combat hate crimes after statewide tour, Star Tribune (Nov. 6, 2019)

Georgetown University Law Center, Project on State and Local Government Policy and Law, “Hate Crimes and Online Extremist Recruitment: Lessons from States and Cities at the Frontline” (Feb. 27, 2020)

National Association of Attorneys General, 2021 Presidential Initiative: The People v. Hate

NAAG President District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine’s 2021 Presidential Initiative, “The People v. Hate: Standing Up for Humanity,” will focus on uniting state and territory attorneys general to counter hate and hate-related violence nationwide

ACS Resources

Karl A. Racine, The Threat We Face is Unbridled Hate, ACS Expert Forum (September 8, 2021).

Gurbir S. Grewal, Celebrating Heritage and Confronting Hate, ACS Expert Forum (May 17, 2021).