Ask Bwog: Where Did All the Hate Crimes Go?

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When we analyzed Public Safety’s newly released Annual Report, a few commenters noticed the curious absence of hate crimes in the year 2007. 2007, you’ll recall, was the Year of the Hate Crime — with graffiti in SIPA, Lewisohn, and a half dozen meetings in response to the incident. So what’s with the row of zeroes?

Bwog just got off the phone with Jim McShane, Associate Vice President of Public Safety and breakout star of the 114th Annual Varsity Show, who directed our attention to a few key passages in the appendix to the Annual Report.

Appendix 1 of the report lists and defines all “reportable crimes.” You’ll notice that vandalism, desturction of public property, and all their variants are not on the list. McShane explained that even if the graffiti in SIPA or Lewisohn was motived by gender, religious, or racial bias, it doesn’t count as a hate crime because it’s not actually a crime, at least according to Public Safety’s rubric. “We call those “bias incidents,'” said McShane.

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  1. Sprinkles

    ...So is there a column in the report that says "bias incidents?"

  2. Vandalism  

    Is willful damage of other people's (or common) property. It's a crime.

    The trick is to figure out the motivations behind it. The appearance of swastikas, at least according to the Anti-Defamation League, should be treated as a hate crime.

    I'm not entirely certain, but if there's no successful prosecution, or if no one was ever brought up on charges, then it's not officially a hate crime.

    Additionally, the US Department of Education only requires reporting as a "hate crime" when a bodily injury is involved.

  3. James Mcshane  

    hid all the hate crimes after the Varsity Show exposed his role in coordinating them.

  4. Actually  

    I found a swastika in the McBain bathroom on the first floor. Don't know if it's from this school year, though

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