Nessel praises State Police for expanding crime reporting categories

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel last Friday praised the Criminal Justice Information Center of the Michigan State Police (MSP) for expanding its category of hate crimes to include gender identity.

“Accuracy in reporting that gets at the heart of a crime is critical to understanding not just what happened, but why it happened,” Nessel said.

MSP’s Michigan Incident Crime Reporting unit is responsible for capturing crime data on more than 100 specific types of crime from law enforcement agencies across the state. In April, it updated that report to include gender identity as a hate crime category.

The information collected is compiled and reported to the FBI for its annual report on Crime in the United States and is used by several local, state and federal agencies, researchers, residents, and the media to identify trends in crimes.

In 2013 the FBI began publishing hate crimes statistics annually under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2009, which included categories for crimes motivated by gender identity. Prior to 2013, the FBI report only included categories for race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

The State Police’s recent expansion is consistent with the FBI’s 2013 inclusion of gender identity in its annual hate crimes statistics reports. The FBI’s reports show gender identity bias-motivated crimes have more than doubled since 2014 and its most recent report shows hate crimes in the United States have risen 17 percent from the previous year overall.

“The Michigan State Police is taking an important and necessary action by including gender identity as a hate crime category in its crime reporting,” Nessel said. “This added requirement goes a long way toward
providing a voice to a community that has long been silenced, overlooked and degraded. This new datapoint will shed light on the types of hate crimes the transgender community faces.”

Noting she’s committed to taking an active role in protecting vulnerable communities by prosecuting hate crimes, Nessel added, “This additional reporting requirement is a step in the right direction and encourages the transgender and gender non-conforming communities to come forward and report these crimes.”

Anyone who is a victim of a hate crime or has credible information about a hate crime should contact the Department of Attorney General at 313-456-0180.

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