This week, Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch, Jr., joined by a dozen community leaders, announced the rollout of a public awareness campaign aimed at informing the public about the FBI’s role in investigating hate crimes, and encouraged people to report hate crimes that they have witnessed or experienced to 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov.
Beginning in August 2021 and continuing until early November, residents and commuters in New Jersey will see the “Protecting Our Communities Together” messages on New Jersey Transit buses, in rail stations, on trains, on billboards along major New Jersey roadways, and in digital ads on various websites. The message will also be carried through our outreach efforts and multiple community partnerships.
“First, we want the public to be aware that the FBI investigates these matters and places a very high level of priority on such incidents,” said Special Agent in Charge Crouch. “Second, we want victims and witnesses to feel secure in the fact that when they report incidents to us, we respect and value their privacy. Finally, we will be engaging more with those communities that may hesitate to report due to a lack of interaction with—or trust in—law enforcement. We can better protect the members of our communities when we work together.”
Hate crimes are the highest priority for the FBI’s civil rights program. A federal hate crime involves physical harm, threats, or intimidation based on bias toward an individual or group because of race, religion, gender, gender identity, physical limitations, national origin, or sexual orientation. New Jersey has experienced a rise in hate crimes in the past two years, especially with respect to race. Yet, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Statistics believes the majority of hate crimes go unreported.
The FBI’s jurisdiction to investigate hate crimes is predicated on four federal statutes which include: 18USC245/247/249, and 42USC3631. While New Jersey’s state law includes bias incidents that don’t necessarily involve criminal activity, the FBI works closely with our state and local partners, even if a case may not result in federal charges.
Attending the press conference were representatives of the Hispanic, LGBTQ, Orthodox Jewish, Asian Indian, and Faith communities.
The messaging has been translated into 17 languages including Arabic, Bengali, Chinese-simplified, Chinese-traditional, Eastern Punjabi, French, Hebrew, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, and Yiddish.
As part of a national advertising campaign, the FBI’s 56 field offices received funding to promote awareness and encourage reporting to the 1-800-CALL-FBI number as well as through tips.fbi.gov.