SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ - The Attorney General's Office and the New Jersey State Police published the complete dataset cataloging 2020 bias incidents in the state, and it showed a spike in incidents in Sussex County.
The complete dataset includes a breakdown of bias incidents by type of offense, victim, and location, and includes municipal-level data, among other information. The 2020 Bias Incident Report, which will be published later this year, will include further analysis of the data.
According to the preliminary numbers, Sussex County saw 30 reported incidents in 2020, an increase of 16 from 2019.
While releasing the top line data last week, Attorney General Grewal announced that the Attorney General's Office and the State Police will soon begin making bias incident data available to the public on a monthly basis, starting in April. These monthly bias incident reports will show breakdowns by bias type and county.
On the day the report was released Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig and FBI Newark Field Division Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., reiterated federal law enforcement's commitment to investigating and prosecuting all acts of bias-motivated violence and other deprivations of individuals' civil rights, including crimes committed on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
"Some of the darkest hours that we have lived through recently as New Jersey residents have involved the horror of violence based on hate," Honig said. "We have seen anti-Semitic violence in Jersey City and a gender- and race-based attack at the home of a federal judge. Now, we face a rising tide of hatred directed at Asian-Americans. New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the country, and this kind of hate should find no home here."
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey employs four Assistant U.S. Attorneys dedicated full-time to federal civil rights enforcement: three in the Civil Rights Unit of the Civil Division, and one Senior Civil Rights Counsel in the Criminal Division. The Office works closely in these matters with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In the past several years, the Office has brought multiple civil and criminal cases based on federal civil rights laws and has been recognized by the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys with two Director's Awards for its work in this area. These Assistant U.S. Attorneys also conduct frequent community outreach, including outreach focused on organizations serving women, people of color, religious groups, and the LBGTQ+ community.
"Hate crimes are not only an attack on an individual, but an entire community," FBI Special Agent in Charge Crouch said. "Investigating these crimes is one of the FBI's highest priorities. We will work diligently with our law enforcement partners to protect the rights of all Americans."
Officials said because the data captures only reported bias incidents, it is under-inclusive in that it does not capture incidents that were never reported to law enforcement. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, over half of the victims of hate crimes in the U.S. from 2011 to 2015 did not report them.
Members of the public are encouraged to report bias incidents to their local police departments, or via the NJBIAS online portal at https://bias.njcivilrights.gov, or by calling 800-277-BIAS.
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