FBI statistics tell us there were 7,649 hate crime incidents reported in the U.S. in 2004. Behind those numbers are hateful and hurtful crimes that exact a terrible toll not only on victims, but on families and communities.
These crimes are a top priority of the FBI, part of our broader mandate to protect the civil rights of all Americans. And that’s why in communities across the nation, we are joining more and more local authorities and partners to combat the problem and roll up perpetrators.
Riverside County, California, a mostly desert community on the southern tip of California where 16 race-related hate crimes were reported in 2004, one fewer than a year earlier. Only sprawling Los Angeles County recorded more hate crimes in the state in those two years.
Recognizing the problem, the Los Angeles FBI office in Riverside County and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department inked an informal agreement in November 2003 to create a Hate Crimes Task Force that would make the most of each others’ strengths—sheriffs’ knowledge of their beats and the FBI’s investigative depth. Sheriff’s detectives already worked with our agents and analysts on a Joint Terrorism Task Force; carving out manpower to target hate crimes made sense because of its association with domestic terrorism.