FBI launches new campaign encouraging Alaskans to report hate crimes
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The FBI has launched a new campaign encouraging Alaskans to report hate crimes. The campaign will use digital, print and radio advertisements across the state, as well as transit advertisements in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.
According to state data, only 10 hate crimes were reported in Alaska last year — nine crimes against a person and one crime against a property. Hate crimes are defined by the FBI as criminal offenses against a person or property that are motivated by someone’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.
“77% of what we’re seeing in hate crimes are just those simple assaults,” said Antony Jung, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Anchorage field office. “Whether it’s just, you know, something that may not be a significant injury. But as with anything, particularly with those kinds of biases, it escalates.”
Experts believe that many hate crimes in Alaska go unreported. Part of the FBI’s new campaign calls for agents to reach out to more communities throughout the state.
“Reporting hate crimes is something that, as a law enforcement leader, the things that we don’t know are the things that keep us up at night,” Jung said. “So, along the lines of hate crimes, if we don’t know about it, we can’t action it. So those that we do, we action.”
The FBI hopes its new campaign will encourage victims and witnesses to come forward.
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