The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
The police department in Suffolk County, N.Y., has reached a tentative agreement with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) to enhance the training of its officers and improve the way it investigates hate crimes and bias incidents, resolving a federal investigation into the county’s policing practices that followed revelations of rampant anti-Latino violence in the county.
The agreement announced yesterday, which still requires the approval of the county legislature, conforms to DOJ recommendations issued in 2011.
The Suffolk County Police Department came under scrutiny in the wake of the 2008 killing of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcel Lucero by a group of teens engaging in what they called “beaner-jumping.” In 2009, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a report, Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y, that documented widespread hatred and violence directed at the county’s Latino immigrants. The report also showed how certain political leaders in the county had added fuel to the fire by ignoring the problem and using inflammatory rhetoric. ( continue to full post… )
A suspect arrested this month for twice attempting to burn down a Joplin, Mo., Planned Parenthood clinic now has been implicated in last year’s firebombing that destroyed a mosque in the same community.
Jedediah Stout, 29, an Iraq war veteran who described himself as “sort of homeless,” was charged last week in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Missouri with attempted arson of a building used in interstate commerce. He is being held without bond as a flight risk and danger to the community.
Stout was arrested by police on Oct. 4 walking on railroad tracks in Joplin, just a few blocks from a Planned Parenthood clinic where someone attempted to throw burning backpacks on the roof of the building two days in a row, court documents say. ( continue to full post… )
Before Joseph Paul Franklin, the prolific racist serial killer, is executed, Terry Jackson-Mitchell wants to look the condemned man in the eye and tell him she forgives him for the nightmares and flashbacks that crashed into her life on a summer night in Utah 33 years ago.
That’s when Franklin wounded Jackson-Mitchell, then 15, and shot and killed her two black friends, jogging a few feet from her in a Salt Lake City park.
“I believe in the old saying, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself,” Jackson-Mitchell, now 49, told Hatewatch in a telephone interview Sunday evening. “I forgive him based on what I’ve read about his horrific childhood. And I forgive him because I refuse to allow that night to define me.”
But her forgiveness only goes so far.
“I honestly wrestle with it, but I think he should be executed,” Jackson-Mitchell said. “I think he’s like a rabid dog. He’s suffered his whole life from cradle to grave. It just seems more humane to put him to death rather than let him live and suffer any longer.”
Franklin’s execution by lethal injection is set for Nov. 20 in Missouri. An 11th-hour legal challenge could, however, delay his trip to the death chamber.
While Jackson-Mitchell wants the sentence to be carried out as soon possible, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt – whom Franklin has confessed to shooting, as well as then-civil rights leader Vernon Jordan – does not want Franklin executed. Even so, as he wrote last week in the Hollywood Reporter, he would “love an hour in a room with him and a pair of wire-cutters and pliers, so I could inflict the same damage on him that he inflicted on me.” ( continue to full post… )
As he awaits his November date with the executioner, prolific racist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin wants something he never showed any of his victims.
He wants mercy.
If the courts won’t give it to him, he hopes maybe God will.
“I’ve prayed to the Lord for forgiveness,” Franklin told Hatewatch this week in a series of telephone interviews from the condemned unit at the Potosi Correctional Center in Missouri. “I not only asked the Lord for me, but I’ve prayed for all of my victims, too. I go from name to name and pray for each one of those people and regret that I ever harmed and shot them the way I did.” ( continue to full post… )
Shortly after a white supremacist stormed into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and killed six worshipers last year, Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a Sikh-American physician and assistant professor of international affairs at Columbia University, co-wrote a column for The New York Times noting the “long history of discrimination and hatred directed at Sikhs in America.”
On Saturday night, on the edge of Harlem, Singh became a victim of the hatred and violence.
As he strolled down the street with a friend near 110th and Lenox at about 8 p.m., a band of up to 20 teenagers on bicycles surrounded Singh, shouting “terrorist” and “get Osama.”
Then, according to the Daily News and the Sikh Coalition, the teens began punching and kicking Singh, who wears a turban and beard in adherence to his Sikh faith. As Singh tried to escape, the teenagers chased him down the street, throwing punches and slurs, apparently mistaking him for a Muslim. ( continue to full post… )
Editor’s note: The Daily News reported late today that the victim in the attack described below has died.
A black New York City man who police say punched and critically injured a 62-year-old retiree last week after reportedly shouting “I’m going to punch the first white man I see” is scheduled to appear in court for the second time tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, the authorities are trying to determine whether the unprovoked and random attack last week near the chess boards at Union Square was a hate crime or the senseless act of a mentally disturbed man. “It’s still under investigation,” a spokesman for the New York City Police Department told Hatewatch today. ( continue to full post… )
An Iraqi immigrant faces a murder trial Aug. 8 in California in the 2012 death of his wife, whose fatal beating initially sparked international attention as a possible anti-Muslim hate crime.
After the FBI ruled out the possibility of a hate crime, police in El Cajon, Calif., pursued the investigation, looking at domestic violence as a possible motive.
Kassim Al Himidi, 49, was arrested last November following his return to the United States after burying his wife, 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi, in the couple’s native Iraq. She was found severely beaten in the family’s home in El Cajon on March 21, 2012, and died in a hospital three days later. ( continue to full post… )
More than 250,000 Americans over the age of 12 are victimized every year by hate criminals, according to a new government study that puts the number some 50,000 higher than the best earlier analyses. At the same time, the study found that in recent years only about one in three hate crimes are ever reported to law enforcement officials.
The study, carried out by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, was based primarily on the annual National Crime Victimization Survey, which employs detailed questionnaires that are widely considered the most accurate measure of U.S. crime available. In addition to analyzing more recent years, it refines two earlier studies based on the surveys, to produce data for the years 2003-2011. ( continue to full post… )
The number of antigovernment “Patriot” groups on the American radical right hit an all-time high in 2012, the fourth straight year of explosive growth, according to a report released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). As the new year began, serious talk of gun control, prompted by a Connecticut school massacre in December, fueled even more rage on the right, and the threat of violence loomed .
The new report, contained in the latest issue of the quarterly investigative journal Intelligence Report, found that the conspiracy-minded Patriot groups, which numbered only 149 in 2008, soared over the first four years of Barack Obama’s presidency to 1,360 in 2012 — an astounding 813% increase. At the same time, it found that hate groups remained at near-record levels of over 1,000 (see interactive map and state-by-state lists of 2012 hate groups here).
The resurgence of militias and other Patriot groups and an uptick over recent years in non-Islamic domestic terrorism caused SPLC President Richard Cohen today to write (letter pdf) U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to request the creation of a new interagency task force to assess the adequacy of federal resources devoted to the threat. “As in the period before the  Oklahoma City bombing,” Cohen wrote, “we are now seeing ominous threats from those who believe that the government is poised to take their guns.” ( continue to full post… )