An Orwellian expansion in U.S. policing’s powers to punish thoughts rather than deeds is apparently underway in Seattle, where a new hate crimes report is eager to create a crisis not borne out in actual criminal convictions. Seattle’s Office of the City Auditor on May 9 released a document stating that reported hate crimes rose by a whopping 400% since 2012. Emphasis was not placed on the word “reported,” as there is little acknowledgment of the difference between an alleged and a proven crime in the city’s frothing document.
“Not All Hate Crimes Result in a Hate Crime Conviction,” reads the subhead on page 12 of the 69-page .pdf report. The city thus claims that hate crimes still occur even when they do not lead to a successful prosecution in a court of law. This is hardly the only obvious flaw in the city’s transparent efforts to inflate statistics that are not verifiable in any remotely acceptable professional manner.
One page earlier, the document admits that Seattle police refer only a third of reported hate crimes to prosecutors. According to statistics cited from the National Crime Victimization Survey, this paltry figure is substantially higher than the national average. Only 12% of reported hate crimes from 2011 to 2015 resulted in an arrest nationally, a damning statistic that might surprise most Americans.
Playing With Numbers
As The Seattle Times noted, the Seattle Police Department is making a concerted effort to pursue hate-crime enforcement. It hired a “bias crimes coordinator” in 2015 to encourage city residents to come forward with more hate-crime allegations. That mission obviously has been accomplished. But of the 521 reported incidents in 2018 touted by the report, only 102 were referred for prosecution. Of that number, 87 were prosecuted, resulting in a mere 37 convictions for “malicious harassment,” i.e., “hate.” That is about 14% of officially reported allegations.
One would think that the excessive filing of reports that 86% of the time end up wasting the resources of a taxpayer-supported police department would be discouraged. Yet Seattle considers the spike in hate crime reports to be a glorious sign that the city is making great progress on clamping down on a problem it is determined to turn into a calamity.
The Times reported in 2016 that police were frustrated at how difficult it was to get citizens to file hate-crime reports. “Victims often have trouble understanding or remembering exactly what happened because harassment comes on so suddenly and without provocation,” the newspaper reported police explaining at the time.
“Seattle police officers are trained to ask questions that help determine why a victim was targeted,” The Times says a detective reported, all but admitting that police are leading citizens with their questioning. And indeed, the new study shows just how successful efforts have been to up the count, regardless if a crime is involved or not. “A rise in reported hate crimes does not necessarily mean there are more of these crimes occurring,” the study openly declares. “Jurisdictions that report more hate crimes are typically seen as leaders in hate-crime response efforts because high reporting can indicate law enforcement is prioritizing these crimes.”
According to the study, 22% of those prosecuted for hate crimes were, as The Times so progressively puts it, “living unsheltered.” That would be your homeless population. Another 20% were mentally ill and a further 20% were intoxicated. It is clear that police were willing to scrape the bottom of the social barrel in pursuit of their cherished dreaded hate incidents. Which probably further explains the pathetic conviction rate.
It’s Trump’s fault
Having conjured this modern scourge out of thin air, progressive officials are naturally blaming President Trump. “With the divisive rhetoric coming daily from the current administration, a rise in white nationalism, and the cowardly violence of domestic terrorism, it’s not enough to know that these crimes are being committed,” Councilmember Lisa Herbold huffed in an official statement after the report came out. “Now that we have a better picture of the trends, it’s incumbent on leaders and allies to take action to prevent, respond, investigate and prosecute hate crimes.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) was also quick to make political hay out of this thoroughly baked fruitcake:
Appalling. This administration has created an environment that encourages hatred and bigotry. Enough. We need to do better than this – hate crimes have no place in our communities.https://t.co/JWmDoDJQM2
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) May 11, 2019
This leftist posturing would be nothing more than amusing if the rights of citizens weren’t so clearly imperiled. With police motivated to increase reports of actions that progressive officials in political power are chomping at the bit to crack down on, a rise in prosecutions will be inevitable. Given the climate of hysteria surrounding accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, and more in America today, innocent people are bound to get caught up in a Kafkaesque nightmare along the way.
The dishonest intentions behind this report should alarm anyone concerned with the constitutional rights of free citizens. Alas, our so-called civil liberties champions in the progressive ranks long ago abandoned such notions in favor of the cultural Marxist identity politics that dominates today’s left.
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