Annual Hate Crimes Data Highlights Urgent Need for Mandatory Hate Crime Reporting

Contact: Mattie Goldman, [email protected]

WASHINGTONMaya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement on the FBI’s 2021 Hate Crime Data:

Everyone deserves to live free from hate, fear, and violence. We cannot free ourselves from hate if we don’t identify and acknowledge it when it happens. What is included in this year’s data is just as important as what was left out – the voices of individuals who experienced incidents of hate. This year, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program only collected data from the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) – an important step forward, but it is also desperately incomplete. The tool is not the problem. Participation is. Some of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies, like in Los Angeles and New York, have left far too many hate crimes uncounted in this year’s release. The 2021 hate crime data is a call to action for Congress to require all law enforcement agencies to report hate crime data to the FBI.

“The switch to NIBRS data collection will ultimately be an improvement over past data efforts, but we know that data collection is not the only effective tool to combat hate crimes and hate incidents. We must also continue to hold officials accountable to implement community-based solutions that combat the rising incidence of white supremacist violence, LGBTQ violence, anti-Semitism and other instances of hate. Until Congress mandates hate crime reporting, the Department of Justice should take away federal funding from agencies that fail to report hate crime data.” 

The 2021 hate crime data is the first year the FBI collected data using the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) as the only data source. Law enforcement agencies that failed to make the transition to NIBRS in time were not included in the 2021 hate crime data.

The Leadership Conference, together with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, released a report earlier this year highlighting concerns with the Biden administration’s domestic terrorism strategy and the need for policies that center civil rights and protect civil liberties. 

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit