Trying to fill the gaps in an FBI count of hate crimes, ProPublica and journalism partners are collecting thousands of reports on hate crimes and developing news stories from tips in the new database.
Documenting Hate, a collaborative journalism project launched this year, is an attempt to overcome the inadequate data collection on hate crimes and bias incidents in the U.S., ProPublica reports. The project compiles incident reports from civil-rights groups, as well as news reports, social media and law enforcement records. It also collects personal stories of witnessing or being the victim of hate. In six months, ProPublica has been joined by more than 100 newsrooms around the country. Thousands of reports have been received, with more coming every day.
They come from states blue and red. People have reported hate incidents from every part of their communities: in schools, on the road, at private businesses, in the workplace. ProPublica and its partners have produced more than 50 stories using the tips from the database. Several stories focused on racial harassment on public transportation, using tips to illustrate something officials were also seeing. BuzzFeed discovered dozens of reported incident in K-12 schools in which students cited President Trump’s name or slogans to harass minority classmates. The FBI, which is required to track hate crimes, counts between 5,000 and 6,000 annually. The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates the total is closer to 250,000. One explanation for the gap is that many more than half of victims don’t report to police what happened to them.