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Courthouse News Service
August 13, 2019

Reported Hate Crimes on the Rise, But Federal Prosecutions Drop
By Travis Bubenik

“We have seen a decline in FBI referrals in quite a few areas over the long haul,” Susan Long, co-founder and co-director of TRAC, said in an interview. “It’s not just hate crimes.”
Federal authorities say they plan to pursue hate crime charges against the 21-year-old white man accused of shooting and killing 22 people – most of them Latino – at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas less than two weeks ago. But research shows such prosecutions have been relatively rare over the past three decades and have dropped in recent years. According to a police affidavit, suspected gunman Patrick Crusius confessed to the Aug. 3 massacre before telling police he had explicitly targeted “Mexicans.” In Texas, Crusius is facing a capital murder charge, though authorities said Monday he has yet to be indicted as an investigation continues. Federal charges are still pending, but an analysis released Monday by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, shows if the government does indeed pursue a hate crime case against Crusius, it would be out of the norm. According to the analysis, hate crime cases were referred to the federal government for prosecution almost 2,000 times over the past decade, but only 15% of those referrals actually led to prosecutions.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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