NewsTexas Hate Crime Reporting Falls Drastically Short

Texas Hate Crime Reporting Falls Drastically Short

Alarming disparities in hate crime reporting highlight urgent need for accountability and training.

Andy Erbaugh, the public information officer for the Tyler Police Department, says that the severity of hate crimes requires additional scrutiny. “It’s a serious thing to say a crime was anti-Black when you don’t have any evidence it’s anti-Black,” Erbaugh said. “We are going to have a training for officers so they can understand when they need to put that there was a bias.”

McDevitt added, “You find that they missed a lot of the less serious events.” 

McDevitt also said that hate crimes carry a specific weight and burden of proof that requires extra investigation. “If someone reports a theft like someone stole my wallet. There’s a wallet and it’s missing. That’s pretty easy,” McDevitt said. “If they say they hit me because I’m LGBTQ, then you have to find out if they really hit them and then you have to find out why they were motivated to do that. That’s harder to do.”

Cpl. Chris Holder, who developed the department’s eight-hour hate crime training course with Cpl. Jastin Williams told the Tribune that the course creates an open line of communication between the citizenry and the police, before briefly emphasizing that a hate crime is at its core, a crime against an entire community. “One of the big things that we talk about a lot when we teach this course is that a hate crime doesn’t just impact that individual,” said Holder. “It has a ripple effect.”

Louvon Byrd Harris, Byrd Jr.’s sister, said that their refusal to call a hate crime a hate crime amounted to disturbing her brother’s rest, saying, “To torment his grave is a continuation of hate and it should have been charged accordingly. He couldn’t walk in peace when he was alive, and now as (a) dead (man) he can’t even rest in peace.”

RELATED CONTENT: Black South Carolina Couple Finds Burning Cross In Front Of House

Source: Black Enterprise


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Don't miss