Alaska FBI launches hate crimes reporting campaign

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 4:42 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska FBI has launched a hate crime awareness and reporting campaign across the state.

According to Antony Jung, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Anchorage Field Office, the campaign will run for several months and aims to reach as many people as possible.

“We’re running a hate crime reporting campaign that’s going to run October 4th through December 5th,” Jung explained, “and just kind of the mechanics of it, we’re advertising our signage out in both mass transit, at the airports, in print, in digital media, obviously we have our online presence, as well as Alaska public media.”

The goal is to increase reports of hate crimes by spreading awareness of not just what a hate crime is, but also how report it and who to report to.

“One of the things that we see related to hate crimes is many of the incidents, around 77% of those incidents that were reported involved simple assault or intimidation,” Jung elaborated, “and many of those incidents of simple assault and intimidation don’t get reported to law enforcement, not just the FBI. If they’re related to anything that has to do with bias towards someone, on one of these protected areas, then we want to know about it so that we obviously look into it and determine those things that we don’t know at this point in time.”

When it comes to reporting a possible hate crime, Jung says there’s nothing too small. “For law enforcement leaders, I can’t foot stomp it enough, for both the local state leaders that I work very closely with, and at the federal level, it’s the things that we don’t know that we can’t action. So if someone believes that there is something that rises to the level of what a hate crime is... and we’re certainly going on a campaign of not only bringing awareness to it, but getting out in the community and educating folks about what hate crimes are.”

The FBI has a set of criteria for something to be considered a hate crime according to Jung. “It’s a traditional crime, so it can be a crime such as obviously murder, arson, in some cases vandalism,” Jung continued. “A crime has occurred, and then it’s one of the classes where bias is involved - so the person’s actions have to be motivated, wholly or in part, by a person’s religion, their ethnicity, their national origin, disability, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

To report potential crimes or hate crimes to the FBI, people can call 1 (800) 225-5324, or report online at the FBI’s website.

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