WASHINGTON: Mourning three recent killings outside Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City, Mo., by “a madman with a warped view of what America should look like,” FBI Director James Comey called Monday for stronger reporting of hate crimes and increased education to help prevent them.
“There are jurisdictions that fail to report hate crime statistics,” Comey said, without naming any cities, counties or states. “Other jurisdictions claim there were no hate crimes in their community, a fact that would be welcome if true.”
“We must continue to impress upon our state and local counterparts in every jurisdiction the need to track and report hate crime.”
Comey made the comments in a speech to a national conference of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group on which he heaped praise for helping to train tens of thousands of law enforcement officers about civil rights laws and hate crimes. He also credited the league for “tracking and exposing domestic and international terrorist threats.”
Comey lamented the events two weeks earlier in Overland Park, Kan., where a white supremacist is accused of opening fire outside two Jewish centers, killing three people.
“He targeted individuals who were strangers to him, for no other reason than that he believed they were Jewish,” Comey said.
Comey said homegrown violent extremists pose a continuing threat while the overseas threat from terrorism has continued to evolve along with new tactics and methods of communication.
The FBI publishes hate crime statistics — offenses based on biases of race, religion and sexual orientation, among others — from the data it receives from local law enforcement agencies, but those reports are generally incomplete since not all jurisdictions contribute information. More than 13,000 agencies participated in the FBI’s reporting of hate crimes in 2012, the FBI said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.