FBI hate crime campaign

FBI launches hate crime campaign.

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - The FBI launched a hate crime reporting campaign this month in efforts to encourage reporting to law enforcement.
 
You'll start seeing advertisements around the state—including billboard messages, 30 second videos at gas station pumps at participating locations, cellphone messages, and radio stations ads as well.
 
The Department of Justice defines a hate crime as a traditional crime motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. Last month, the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program released its annual Hate Crime Statistics Report for 2020. The report showed, nationwide, there were 7,764 reported hate crime incidents compared to 7,314 reported in 2019. South Carolina reported 110 incidents compared to 57 reported in 2019. The state’s data is compiled from 398 reporting law enforcement agencies.
 
We spoke to FBI public affairs specialist Kevin Wheeler. He says their civil rights program is making this a priority.
 
"They will be taken care of. They will be taken seriously. They need to know that this is at the top of our list. We want people to be held accountable. A lot of times, these crimes are very heinous. And they're very serious in nature. So, we want them to know that we are ready to take the report. We're ready to look into it to the fullest so these figures can be held accountable," Wheeler said.

The latest data from 2020 shows hate crime is at the highest rate in 12 years. Read more here.

"So, ultimately, we want people to feel comfortable that they can report hate crimes whether they are a victim or a witness. I would say this is a top priority for the civil rights department division. And we want people to report those crimes so they can be investigated to the fullest, and we can hold people accountable," said Wheeler.

If you're driving on I-85 past exit 39 (River Road, Highway 143) Northbound, in the Piedmont area, you can see the billboard. The message says, "Protecting our communities together. Report hate crimes," along with contact information.

You can also watch videos at the Speedway on Poinsett Highway.
 
If you believe you are victim or a witness of a hate crime, you are encouraged to report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit tips.fbi.gov.

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