HATE CRIMES
2012 – 2013 Biennium
NMDPS Accreditation #: NM12-65C
HATE CRIMES
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF HATE CRIMES
SOME REASONS HATE CRIMES ARE TAKEN SO SERIOUSLY
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One reason hate crimes are taken so seriously is historical: hate and fear
have been successfully exploited by leaders for thousands of years.
Another reason: the brushfire effect. In the midst of summer, during a
drought, brush and kindling can quickly lead to a major fire. Hate is similar
in that it can suddenly flare up and escalate into violence.
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Also, the impact of a hate crime is way out of proportion to the crime itself.
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Hate crimes can range from simple vandalism to genocide. A look at some
historical examples will illustrate the reality of hate crimes.
HISTORICAL:
HATE CRIMES- THE REST OF THE WORLD
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Romans and Christians
In 64 A.D., a fire in Rome destroyed much of the city. Emperor Nero quickly blamed the
Christians for starting the fire. His tactic, using a scapegoat and placing the blame on others,
was highly successful. Roman persecution of Christians continued for several centuries.
Hitler in the 1930’s
The German people after World War I felt defeated and powerless. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi
Party repeatedly blamed Jews (and others) for Germany’s problems. It was a very effective
tactic. Looking at news reels of Nazi Germany, the astonishing enthusiasm for Hitler is obvious.
One surprising fact is that the Jews in the 1920’s were fairly well assimilated. The brushfire of
hatred rose, however, and six million Jews (and many others) were murdered. In recent years
many Jews have chosen to live in Germany and relations appear to be normal.
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Genocide in Rwanda in the 1990’s
Rwanda, located in Central Africa, has two main groups, the Hutu and the Tutsi. Both groups are
black but the Hutu are in the middle height while the Tutsi are the tallest tribe in Africa. Radio
announcers started a hate campaign, suggesting that it was time to go after the Tutsi, time to
“cut down the tall trees.” The Hutu people, using machetes, killed nearly 800,000 Tutsi within a
hundred days. Today, the two groups appear to be getting along again.
These hate crimes, some happening long ago and some recently, were very popular. Hate, as
with other human emotions, is a powerful force.
HISTORICAL: HATE CRIMES IN THE UNITED STATES
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THE KU KLUX KLAN
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JAPANESE-AMERICANS IN WORLD WAR II
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The most notorious of hate groups. After the Civil War, many in the South felt
weak and powerless. This was the beginning of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
In the 1920’s, millions of people joined the KKK and many of its ideas were main
stream (white) America.
As recently as the 1960’s, the KKK was still popular, although mainly in the
South.
In the early 1940’s, shortly after Pearl Harbor, many Americans were afraid of a
Japanese invasion. Over 100,000 Japanese-Americans were put into camps.
Emotion against Japanese-Americans was high and numerous crimes were
committed against them. There was a camp in Santa Fe, NM.
MANY OTHER GROUPS IN AMERICA HAVE ALSO SUFFERED
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Other people have also suffered because they are members of a particular
group. The fact that hate crimes have been so popular in the past, even in
America, is a reminder that they can reappear again. Can you think of people of
other groups who suffered as victims of hate crimes? (Examples: Chinese
exclusion act, riots against Latinos (because of how young men dressed), in Los
Angeles in 1940’s, Jews restricted to live in certain neighborhoods, etc.)
For members of these groups, the memory of what happened, even though it
was some time ago, can seem very recent.
THE IMPACT OF HATE CRIMES CAN BE DEVASTATING
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An extraordinary thing about hate crimes, and another reason to take them
seriously, is that a hate crime can have an impact way out of proportion to
the act itself.
An example of this happened after Iraq was invaded in 2003. The Islam
faith in Iraq has two major factions, Sunni (20%) and Shiite (60%). A few
thousand Sunni along with outsiders, began a campaign of hate crimes
against the Shiite majority. What did the Shiite do in response? What
happened to Iraq? Their diabolical tactics had an astonishing success:
they tied down thousands of troops and paralyzed a nation of twenty-five
million.
In America, to a lesser extent, we have also felt the impact of hate crimes.
Matthew Shepard, a gay person, was tied to a fence in Wyoming and left to
die; in Jasper, Texas, a black man was chained to a vehicle and dragged to
death. What was the reaction of Americans, especially people in the
targeted groups, to these actions?
The motive- targeting someone because of the group they belong to- is
what makes a hate crime different. To use graffiti as an example: spray
painting “Beat Arizona” on a bridges is not quite the same as spray painting
“Death to Jews” on a synagogue. And the reaction on the targeted group is
way out of proportion to the act itself
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN
YOU THINK OF HATE CRIMES?
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Usually one thinks of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis
attacking African-Americans or Jews. We may recall a
cross burning or headstones turned over in a Jewish
cemetery. We may also think of teenagers beating up
someone because he is gay.
However, we need to broaden our focus and note that
any group can be involved in a hate crime. No group
has a monopoly on hate crimes; anyone can be a victim
of a hate crime. Example: Louis Farrakham of the
Nation of Islam. Can you think of any other examples?
ARGUMENTS ABOUT HATE CRIME LEGISLATION
No one supports hate crimes buy many people had concerns about
hate crime legislations. It only became law in 2003 after years of
debate. Some of the arguments against hate crime legislation
follow.
AN ARGUMENT AGAINST HATE CRIME LEGISLATION
Many people sincerely opposed hate crime legislation. One
argument was that it shouldn’t matter what group- race, religion,
etc. – a victim belong to. A victim is a victim and all should be
treated the same.
BUT A NUMBER OF VICTIMS
ARE ALREADY TREATED DIFFERENTLY
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Supporters of hate crime legislation respond that sentences are already
enhanced for different groups. If a police officer is a victim of a batter or
murder, the penalty is increased. If a teacher, athletic official or health
worker is a victim of a battery, the penalty is also increased.
ALSO, THE SENTENCE IS INCREASED
BECAUSE OF THE MOTIVE
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The reason the sentence goes up is because we’re also punishing the
motive for the crime. To beat up someone is a battery but if the reason for
the battery is because the victim belongs to a particular group – police
officers, teachers, etc. – then the penalty, according to some people, should
also go up. Which side of the argument do you support?
ANOTHER ARGUMENT AGAINST HATE CRIME LEGISLATION
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It was felt by many that hate crime legislation would have a chilling impact
upon freedom of speech. A person might oppose gay marriages or
affirmative action; taking such a position could be interpreted as a hate
crime.
BUT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
A HATE CRIME AND SPEECH
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A person’s thoughts are protected under the First
Amendment. This means a person can write a hate
pamphlet or letter blasting another group and do so
legally. Another person ay flaunt a racist tattoo. And
anyone in public can express contempt for another
group and be protected by the US Constitution.
Free speech is protected. But when a person does
something, commits an act that is illegal, then we have a
crime. And if that crime is motivated by hate, it
becomes a hate crime. The following US Supreme Court
case addressed the free speech versus hate crime issue
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT ON
HATE CRIMES AND FREE SPEECH
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A group of young black men gathered at an apartment in Kenosha,
Wisconsin to watch a movie called Mississippi Burning. In one scene in the
movie, white men beat up a young black boy while he is praying. Mr.
Mitchell said, “Do you all feel hyped up to move on some white people?”
Shortly thereafter, a young white boy is seen across the street.
Mitchell: “There goes a white boy, go get him.: They beat him up severely
and steal his tennis shoes. He is in a coma for four days. Mitchell was
charged with a hate crime and his sentence was enhanced.
Supreme Court said the hate crime statue did not pose a threat to the first
amendment. Mr. Mitchell can say what he wants to. But when he commits
violence against another, he is breaking the law. And if the violence is
committed against another simply because that person belongs to a certain
group, he has committed a hate crime. Conviction upheld. Wisconsin v.
Mitchell (1993)
THE PURPOSE OF HATE CRIME LEGISLATION
HATE CRIME IS ABOUT SENDING A MESSAGE
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When a hate criminal targets someone because
of the group that person belongs to, the hate
criminal is sending a message that members of
that group are not welcomed in our community.
But our community also has a message to send.
When the sentence for a hate criminal is
increased, we are sending a message that hate
crime will not be tolerated.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A
HATE CRIME AND A BIAS CRIME?
No real difference.
For our purposes we will use
“Hate Crimes.”
UNDERSTANDING HATE CRIMES - NM STATUTE ON HATE CRIMES
LEGAL – “MOTIVATED BY HATE”
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As used in the Hate Crimes Act (NMSA 1978, Section 31-18-B-1),
“motivated by hate” means the commission of a crime with the intent to
commit the crime because of the actual or perceived race, religion, color,
national origin, ancestry, age, handicapped status, gender, sexual
orientation or gender identity of the victim, whether or not the offender’s
belief or perception was correct.
Three words are important: “Motivated by hate.” A person commits a
crime and it is motivated by hate; that’s what makes this statute unique.
This is a legal definition. Victims or the news media may have a different
version of what a hate crime is. We need to remember that what some
activist groups perceive to be a hate crime is not a hate crime.
LEGAL – PENALTY ENHANCEMENT
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Hate crime is not a separate, distinct crime. It goes to
sentencing. An offender’s sentence can be enhanced if
the following is shown:
(1) a crime was committed
(2) it was motivated by hate.
EXAMPLES:
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Crime of Arson
Motivated by Hate =
Hate Crime
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Crime of Battery Motivated by Hate =
Hate Crime
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Crime of Murder Motivated by Hate =
Hate Crime
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One reason for increased sentencing is that hate crime
laws punish not only the criminal act but also the
discrimination.
LEGAL –ADDITIONAL CATEGORIZED
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The Hate Crimes statute protects a number of groups.
But if a group isn’t included, it isn’t protected. For
example, it doesn’t include homeless people, rich people,
rock musicians, etc.
In 1980, New Mexico enacted an old age enhancement
for crimes against a person sixty years or older. In 1989
handicapped people as victims were added. These laws
were repealed when the Hate Crimes statute became
law in 2003.
LEGAL – MISTAKEN PERCEPTION
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Even if the offender was mistaken in
his/her belief that the victim was a
member of a particular group, the offense
is still a hate crime as long as the offender
was motivated by bias against that group.
LEGAL – LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING
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In-Service Law Enforcement training …
shall include at least two hours of instruction …
NMSA 1978, Section 31-18B-5.
LEGAL – SENTENCING
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If an offender committed a felony motivated by
hate, the basic sentence may be increased by
one year. NMSA 1978, Section 31-18B-3
This may not seem like much but generally
those committing hate crimes will serve longer
sentences than those who commit non-hate
crimes.
ROLES OF POLICE
ROLE OF POLICE - HATE CRIME STATISTICS
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Every District Attorney and every State, County and Municipal Law
Enforcement agency, to the maximum extent possible, shall provide the
Federal Bureau of Investigations with data concerning the commission of a
crime motivated by hate. NMSA 1978, Section 31-18B-4.
The FBI began collecting statistics in 1990. On every police report in New
Mexico, there is a box that says, “Hate/Bias.” For purposes of statistics, the
officer need only write a check mark if he or she believes there is a hate
crime.
There’s no need to look up a particular crime in the statute books. It can be
any crime but with this difference: it’s a crime motivated by hate.
But a good, professional officer can and should do more. We will now
discuss ways to have a more effective hate crime investigation. We will
look at suggestions for the prevention of hate crimes and ideas for working
with the victim, the community, and the news media. You’re encouraged to
share any ideas and suggestions that you have with the class.
ROLE OF POLICE- INVESTIGATION
BE ALERT TO THE POSSIBILITY A HATE CRIME HAS
OCCURRED
The first thing an officer must do is determine if a hate crime happened or not. As
we shall soon see, this is not as easy as it sounds. People have different opinions
and conclusions as to whether a hate crime occurred or not. Remember, of
course, that we must follow the legal definition: a crime was committed and it was
motivated by hate.
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Some facts that may be useful to us:
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Is the motivations of the offender known?
Is there no other clear motivation for the incident?
Oral remarks, written statement or gestures made by the offender which indicate his or
her bias. Example: A racial slur.
Bias-related drawings, symbols or graffiti left at the crime scene. Example: a swastika
painted on the door of a synagogue.
Did I punch my neighbor because he was black or for some other reason? What
distinguishes hate crimes from other crimes is motivation.
Jasper County (Texas) Sheriff:
“I’m a brand new Sheriff. I didn’t even know the definition of a hate crime. But I
know somebody has been murdered because he was black. Once we saw the KKK
emblem on the cigarette lighter, that’s when we started having some bad
thoughts.”
BUT IT’S NOT ALWAYS EASY TO
DETERMINE MOTIVATION
Motivation – motive to hate- is the heart
of a hate crime. But it’s not always easy
to determine.
YOU DECIDE:
ARE THE FOLLOWING CRIMES
HATE CRIMES?
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Overnight, unknown persons broke into a synagogue
and destroyed several religious objects. The offenders
drew a large swastika on the door and wrote “Death to
Jews” on a wall. Although valuable items were present,
none were stolen. Hate Crime? Justify your answer.
Japanese-American was attacked by a white male
wielding a tire iron. The victim suffered severe cuts and
a broken arm. The incident took place in a parking lot
next to a bar. Investigations revealed that the offender
and victim had previously exchanged racial insults.
Offender had initiated the exchange, using anti-Japanese
slurs. He complained that Japanese were taking jobs
from Americans. Hate Crime? Justify your answer
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While driving through a predominately Hispanic neighborhood, a
Black male stopped his car to repair a flat tire. A group of Hispanics
leaving a bar across the street accosted the driver then attacked
him with bottles and clubs. During the attack, the offenders used
racial slurs and told him Blacks were not welcomed in the
neighborhood. Hate Crime? Justify your answer.
A group home for persons with psychiatric disabilities was the site of
a reported arson. Apparently, neighbors had expressed many
concerns about the group home and were angry that the house was
located in their community. Shortly before the fire was reported, a
witness heard a young man state, “I’ll get rid of those crazies.” “I’ll
burn them out.” Hate Crime? If so, what group? Justify your
answer.
An adult white male was approached by four white teenagers who
requested money for the bus. When he refused, one of the youths
said to the others, “Let’s teach this (bad word for a gay person) a
lesson.” The victim was punched in the face, knocked to the ground,
kicked several times and robbed of his wristwatch, ring, and wallet.
When he reported the crime, the victim advised he did not know the
offenders and he was not gay. Hate Crime? Justify your answer
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On a Saturday morning a man is standing at the corner of a busy
intersection near a synagogue. He is saying offensive things such
as “All Jews should die” and “Hitler didn’t finish the job.” He is also
distributing anti-Semitic hate literature and is a member of a neoNazi group, What Crime? Hate Crime? Justify your Answer.
Students at a religious school vandalized their own school, leaving
anti-religious statements on the walls. Nothing is taken. Hate
Crime? What is the motivation? Justify your answer.
A white male and a black male in a bar argue about a game. They
begin fighting and during the fight use numerous racial slurs against
each other. You arrive and witnesses advise you of this. Hate
Crime? Justify your answer.
Two young males have a scam going. They get into a car, cover
the license plate with a t-shirt, and look for victims. When they see
an elderly female (70’s/80’s) one jumps out of the passenger seat,
runs over to her, knocks her down and steals her purse. When
caught they’re asked why did they target older women (if over the
age of 60, a person can be a victim of a hate crime), they said
because they’re easy targets. We may have a double victim here:
Gender and Age. Hate Crime?
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Each April, Indian groups from all over North America have a
Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque. A Native American band
performed during the noon hour at the University of New Mexico. At
the library nearby, a white male couldn’t study because of the
music. He went up to the band, pulled the plug and shouted,
“You’re a bunch of monkeys! That’s why they put you on the
reservation!” and stormed off. Hate Crime? Justify your answer.
Las Vegas, New Mexico. A local Hispanic often would go to a bar
popular with Mexican nationals. One afternoon, he got into a fight
with a Mexican national and was evicted. He came back with his
vehicle and ran over a Mexican National. He was heard saying bad
things about Mexican Nationals. Hate Crime? Justify your answer.
ANOTHER REASON MANY OFFICERS FAVOR
HATE CRIME LEGISLATION
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From all the examples given, it should be apparent that some people are quick to declare
something a hate crime.
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The statute gives a very narrow definition: it’s a crime “motivated by hate.”
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This gives law enforcement a powerful tool in determining what a hate crime is
Upon determining that a hate crime may have occurred,
what should the officer do?
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Notify the field supervisor and /or unit commander as soon as possible. Command level officers
also need to be notified.
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Police department should notify the District Attorney as soon as possible.
Most common mistakes when a hate crime occurs
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Misidentification whether a hate crime occurred or not.
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Treating a hate crime like any other crime.
ROLE OF POLICE – PREVENTION AND BEING PROACTIVE
When is the most appropriate time to look into hate
crimes?
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We should treat every hate crime seriously. The most
common hate crimes are misdemeanors: graffiti and
vandalism. It’s far better to take an active interest in a
hate related misdemeanor than to wait for a hate related
homicide to occur
What is the “profile” of a person involved in
a hate crime?
While a “profile” cannot be used to stop and
detain people, it can be a helpful investigative
tool. What follows are some categories but
there are more.
Hate gangs or hate groups
 The neo-Nazis or the KKK or militias are the
most visible. These groups must be treated
seriously because their presence can promote
feelings of intolerance or raise existing tensions.
What should law enforcement do when there is
a hate gang or hate group in the community?
The “profile” of a person most likely to
commit hate crimes
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The great majority of hate crimes,
however, are committed by people who do
not belong to hate groups. These are
offenders who act alone or in very small
groups. Some categories of offenders
include:
Thrill Seekers:
 May do it for the shock value. Alcohol and drugs may be a factor.
Juveniles and young adults are over-represented. Vandalism or
graffiti are common and violence is often used against the victim.
People with a Mission
 These people sometimes work by themselves and sometimes in
groups. They really believe their group has a duty to suppress or
hurt other groups.
 Hate crimes are becoming more evident, especially in the Middle
East and parts of Europe. Which groups are the main victims?
People with a negative change in their lives
 These people may resent the growing economic power of a
particular racial or ethnic group or believe there is a threat to their
safety and the value of their neighborhoods.
Conflicted Offenders
 Are those of the same protected class and are offenders because
they don’t want to identify or be identified with the group.
Examples: A Jewish person joins a neo-Nazi group or a person of
mixed raced ancestry joins the KKK.
ROLE OF POLICING – WORKING WITH THE VICTIM
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Procedurally, hate crimes should be handled in the same manner as other crimes.
But the injuries sustained will be more emotional in nature and the victim may suffer
psychological trauma. At times, the victim’s response may seem out of proportion to
the officer’s perception of the incident.
One reason is that for victims, hate crimes are different. Often, the victim will
experience shock: why me, why was I singled out? There may also be a feeling of
disorientation, a feeling that things won’t be the same again. And there is a fear that
it will happen again.
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A hate crime victim, whether the offense was a misdemeanor of felony, is often
similar to a victim of sexual abuse or child abuse.
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A victim of a burglary can install deadbolts for an alarm system but hate crime
victims cannot protect themselves by changing skin color or ancestry.
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Failure to communicate frequently with the victim may increase their sense of
isolation.
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Need to let the victim know quickly that the Department takes such crimes very
seriously. Need to reassure victims that every investigative procedure is being
utilized to solve the crime and to offer support that extends beyond they investigative
stage.
ROLE OF POLICING – WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY
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Few crimes have as high a profile as a hate crime.
There will be an intense interest in the case and police
need to work very closely with the group targeted.
A hate crime poses a direct threat to community
stability. All members of the group targeted will feel
victimized, not just those targeted. Tensions can surface
and the group that feels threatened may resort to
violence or retaliation. No crime has the potential to
cause such problems for a Police Department.
Improperly handling a hate crime can cause groups to
ignite in protest
ROLE OF POLICE – WORKING WITH THE NEWS
MEDIA
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More than ever, especially when rumors are
abundant, when the community wants to know
what happened, when people are upset about a
particular incident, the new media have taken a
leadership role.
We need to work with the news media as closely
as possible. A hate crime is a high profile story
that often will be the lead story or on the front
pages
ROLE OF POLICE- WORKING WITH THE COURTS
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A lot more attention is given to hate crimes than other
crimes, both by the news media and the community.
It’s possible that numerous community groups will be in
the courtroom. Officers need to work closely with
prosecutors and the court.
HATE CRIMES IN NEW MEXICO
Hate crimes became illegal in 2003. A few cases reveal certain trends:
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News Item: Hate Crime Case Ends: 6 Sentenced in Gay Beating
A young gay man was beaten into a coma outside of a local (Santa Fe) hotel because of his
sexuality. The victim said that, “being beaten solely because of my lifestyle is hard to accept. I
will never forget this.”
The two adult males who were the primary offenders were sent to the State Penitentiary. The
Judge said, “I think both of you need to see the inside of a Penitentiary. I can’t let the community
think this is acceptable behavior.” Albuquerque Journal, April 6, 2006.
News Item: Guilty Pleas in Beating of Gay: Lawyer says Juvenile won’t contest charges
The only juvenile among a group of six males charged with beating a gay man in Santa Fe will
plead “straight up” guilty to all charges, his attorney said. Albuquerque Journal, August 5, 2005.
News Item: Edgewood Teens Punished in Beating of Gay Man
A Santa Fe teen who blindfolded a gay Edgewood man and participated when a group tried to
“beat him straight” was sentenced to a year in jail. “To beat him because he was gay, so he
would become straight, the hatred of that is frightening,” District Court Judge Michael Vigil said to
offender Cecily Gonzales, 17, as she wept. Vigil also handed down a sentence for co-defendant
Uriah Smith, 18. Smith was sentenced to four years in prison. Albuquerque Journal, April 13,
2007.
News Item: Hate Crimes in Farmington
Two white men who were charged with beating up and robbing a Navajo man were sentenced.
There was no proof of hate crime for the 21-year-old and he was given three years. But it was a
different story for the nineteen year old who was guilty of violating the Hate Crimes Act. He was
sentenced to seven years at the State Penitentiary. Albuquerque Journal, April 18, 2007 and July
19, 2007.
TRENDS IN REACTING TO HATE CRIMES IN NEW MEXICO
So far New Mexico appears to be doing the following in
regard to hate crimes:
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Police Departments are treating hate crimes very seriously. The
command level is very much involved.
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Prosecutors do not plea bargain hate crime cases.
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The community, especially the group affected, has an intense
interest in what happens to a hate crime. Court appearances
involving hate crimes will be packed with members of the
community, especially the group targeted.
Judges do not give suspended or deferred sentences. Judges will
give the maximum sentence and then add one year for a felony.
New media coverage is extraordinary. Hate crimes will be on the
front page or will be the lead story for television and radio. At
sentencing, newspapers will have a picture on the front page of the
offender in handcuffs.
GOOD NEWS ON HATE CRIMES IN NEW MEXIO
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The Southern Poverty Law Center keeps a close eye on the number
of hate groups, state by state. In 2005, New Mexico was one of the
very few states that did not have a single active hate group.
In 2007, however, a handful of the Aryan Brotherhood began to
expand into New Mexico. They were swiftly indicted by the US
Attorney’s Office. Albuquerque Journal, August 12, 2007. If
convicted, what kind of sentence do you think they’ll get?
The good news is that hate crimes, as defined by state statute,
rarely occur in New Mexico. Even Senior Police Officers, asked the
last time a hate crime occurred in their community, acknowledge
that hate crimes seldom occur.
But if a hate crime does happen, it will be taken very seriously.
THE FUTURE OF HATE CRIMES
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Hate crimes have been a part of our history and in other
countries as well. We need only to look at the Middle
East to see the popularity of hate crimes in some
countries. The need to be vigilant when it come to have
crimes is obvious.
But in one sense, we can leave on a positive note.
America has made great progress and hate crimes,
though still with us, are becoming less common. And
New Mexico’s record when it comes to hate crimes is
one of the best in the Country.
CONCLUSION
We have learned about he hate crimes
statute, how to recognize hate crimes and
how as Peace Officers to respond to it.
Although hate crimes happen less, we
need to react quickly and take them
seriously.
ADA ELLIOTT
HATE CRIMES ACT
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NMSA 1978, Section 31-18B-1. Hate Crimes Act
The Hate Crimes Act became law in New Mexico in 2003. A hate
crime is not a separate, distinct crime, but refers to sentencing. If
an existing crime is “motivated by hate” the sentence can be
increased. Some definitions follow:
“Motivated by Hate” means the commission of a crime with
the intent to commit the crime because of the actual or
perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age,
handicapped status, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity of
the victim, whether or not the offender’s belief or perception was
correct.
This act {3118B-1 to 31-18B-5 NMSA 1978] may be cited as the “Hate Crimes Act”.
History: Laws 2003, ch. 384, § 7 makes the act effective on July 1, 2003.
31-18B-2. Definitions.
As used in the Hate Crimes Act [31-18B-1 NMSA 1978]:
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“age” means sixty year of age or older;
“gender identity” means a person’s self-perception, or perception of that person
by another, of the person’s identity as a male or female based upon the person’s
appearance, behavior or physical characteristics that are in accord or opposed to
the person’s physical anatomy, chromosomal sex or sex at birth;
31-18B-2. Definitions.
“handicapped status” means that the person has a physical or mental
impairment that substantially limits one or more of that person’s functions, such
as caring for himself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing,
speaking, breathing, learning and working;
“motivated by hate” means the commission of a crime with the intent to
commit the crime because of the actual or perceived race, religion, color, national
origin, ancestry, age, handicapped status, gender, sexual orientation or gender
identity of the victim, whether or not the offender’s belief or perception was
correct; and
“Sexual Orientation” means heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality,
whether actual or perceived.
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Date collection is important: on the top of New Mexico police reports, there
is a box for hate/bias crimes. This information will be forwarded to the FBI.
Hate crimes differ form other crimes in that the offender is sending a
message to members of certain groups that they are not wanted in a
particular neighborhood, community, etc. The Hate Crimes Act is sending
a message to hate offenders that their behavior is not wanted.
Be wary of making every crime a hate crime. Ask yourself if hate was the
motivation for the crime. Gang members, for example, may target senior
citizens to be robbed, not because they hate senior citizens, but because
they are vulnerable. Two males in a bar get into a fight and yell ethnic slurs
at one another; was hate the motivation for the fight or was it something
else? But if it’s a hate crime, take note that the victim may need the extra
assistance of advocacy groups.
History: Laws 2003, ch. 384, § 2.
Effective Dates. – Laws 2003, ch384, § 7 makes the act effective on July 1, 2003
31-18B-3.
Hate crimes; noncapital felonies, misdemeanors or petty misdemeanors
committed because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, color,
national origin, ancestry, age, handicapped status, gender, sexual orientation or
gender identity; alteration of basic sentence.
A. When a separate finding of fact by the court or jury shows beyond a reasonable
doubt that an offender committed a noncapital felony motivated by hate, the
basic sentence of imprisonment prescribed for the offense in Section 31-18-15
NMSA 1978 may be increased by one year. An increase in the basic sentence of
imprisonment pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be in addition to
an increase in a basic sentence prescribed for the offense in Section 31-18-17
NMSA 1978. A sentence imposed pursuant to the provisions of this subsection
may include an alternative sentence that requires community service, treatment,
education or any combination thereof. The court may suspend or defer any or all
of the sentence or grant a conditional discharge, unless otherwise provided by
law.
B.
If a finding was entered in a previous case that the offender was convicted for
committing a crime that was motivated by hate, and if a separate finding of fact
by the court or jury shows beyond a reasonable doubt that in the instant case the
offender committed a noncapital felony that was motivated by hate, the basic
sentence of imprisonment prescribed for the offense in Section 31-18-15 NMSA
1978 may be increased by two years. An increase in the basic sentence of
imprisonment pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be in addition to
an increase in a basic sentence prescribed for the offense in Section 31-18-17
NMSA 1978. A sentence imposed pursuant to the provisions of this subsection may
include an alternative sentence that requires community service, treatment,
education or any combination thereof. The court may suspend or defer any or all
of the sentence, or grant a conditional discharge unless otherwise provided by
law.
C.
If the case is tried before a jury and if a prima facie case has been established
showing that in the commission of the offense the offender was motivated by
hate, the court shall submit the issue to the jury by special interrogatory. If the
case is tried by the court and if a prima facie case has been established showing
that in the commission of the offense the offender was motivated by hate, the
court shall decide the issue and shall make a separate finding of fact regarding the
issue. If the court or jury determines that the offender is guilty of the crime and
finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the offender was motivated by hate, the
court shall include that determination in the judgment and sentence.
D.
When a petty misdemeanor or a misdemeanor is motivated by hate, the basic
sentence of imprisonment prescribed for the offense in Section 31-19-1 NMSA
1978 may include an alternative sentence that requires community service,
treatment, education or any combination thereof. The court may suspend or defer
any or all of the sentence or grant a conditional discharge, unless otherwise
provided by law.
History: Laws 2003, ch. 384 § 3.0
Effective Dates. – Laws 2003, ch. 384, § 7 makes the act effective on July 1, 2003.
Decisions under former 31-18-16.1 NMSA 1978. – In light of the similarity of
this section and former Section 31-18-16.1 NMSA 1978, annotations decided under
former 31-18-16.1 NMSA 1978 have been included in the annotations in this section.
It is solely within province of legislature to establish penalties for criminal
behavior. State v. Lack, 98 N.M. 500, 650 P.2d 22 (Ct. App. 1982).
Failure to give defendant notice of enhancement. – Robbery defendant was
entitled to notice of the state’s intent to seek enhancement under this section, and
failure to give him such notice was reversible error. State v. Smith, 110 N.M. 534,
797 P.2d 984 (Ct. App. 1990).
Where a robbery defendant was not properly notified that the state would seek oldage enhancement of his sentence under this section before he pled and was
adjudicated guilty, the state was not precluded from seeking enhancement upon
remand of his case for further proceedings. State v. Smith, 110 N.M. 534, 797 P.2d
984 (Ct. App. 1990).
31-18B-4. Hate crimes; data collection.
Every district attorney and every state, county and municipal law
enforcement agency, to the maximum extent possible, shall provide
the federal bureau of investigation with data concerning the
commission of a crime motivated by hate, in accordance with
guidelines established pursuant to the federal Hate Crime Statistics
Act.
History: Laws 2003, ch. 384, § 4.
Effective dates. – Laws 2003, ch. 384, § 7 makes the act effective on
July 1, 2003.
Federal Hate Crime Statistics Act – For federal Hate Crime
Statistics Act, see notes following 28 U.S.C.S. § 534.
31-18B-5. Hate crimes; law enforcement training.
A. No later than December 31, 2003, the New Mexico law enforcement academy board
shall develop and incorporate into the basic law enforcement training required,
pursuant to the Law Enforcement Training Act [ 29-7-1 NMSA 1978], a course of
instruction at least two hours in length concerning the detection, investigation and
reporting of a crime motivated by hate.
B. The New Mexico law enforcement academy board shall develop a course of
instruction, learning and performance objectives and training standards, in
conjunction with appropriate groups and individuals that have an interest in and
expertise regarding crimes motivated by hate. The groups and individuals shall
include law enforcement agencies, law enforcement academy instructors, experts on
crimes motivated by hate and members of the public.
C. In-service law enforcement training, as required pursuant to Section 29-7-7.1 NMSA
1978, shall include at least two hours of instruction that conform with the
requirements set forth in Subsection B of this section.
D. Each certified regional law enforcement training facility shall incorporate into its basic
law enforcement training and in-service law enforcement training a course of training
described in Subsection B of this section that is comparable to or exceeds the
standards of the course of instruction developed by the New Mexico law enforcement
academy board.
History: Laws 2003, ch. 384, § 5.
Effective dates. – Laws 2003, ch. 384, § 7 makes the act effective on July 1, 2003.
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HATE CRIMES - New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy