1. Hate crimes have been defined as “crimes involving bodily injury to any person in which the victim is intentionally selected because of the actual or perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability of the victim,” (Clery Act Crime Definitions, 1999). They have also been described simply as “crimes motivated by prejudice,” (Crime in Texas, 2003). One of the main types of hate crime bias motivation areas is race and ethnic identity. Other prominent areas include sexual orientation and religion.
2.The types of bias motivations to be reported are limited to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and disability. Additionally, “bias is to be reported only if investigation reveals sufficient objective facts to lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude that the offender’s actions were motivated, in whole or in part, by bias,” (U. S. Department of Justice FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, 1999, p. 4). For example, if the offender shouted racial slurs at the victim prior to attacking the victim, this is a strong indication that the crime was motivated by hate. However, sometimes it is difficult to determine the offender’s motivation.
After determining that a hate crime was committed, agencies may report the hate crime to the FBI by using the Quarterly Hate Crime Report or using the National Incident-Based Reporting System. Police Officers 3. Police officers need to develop greater cultural sensitivity. One way to do this is for police officers to become familiar with the cultures, languages, and religious beliefs of the people who live in the communities that they serve. This will help to cut down on misunderstandings, and probably reduce discrimination because ignorance is what leads to prejudice.
The police officers should really make an effort to get to know the people in the community and gain their trust. Police officers could accomplish this by becoming more involved in community activities. They could visit the churches and schools, attend community picnics and fundraisers, and play ball in the park with the local children, or even coach a neighborhood sports team. These simple steps would help police officers become more culturally sensitive and also help their images. 4. There is a problem with police misconduct and inadequate performance.
However, I think the media exaggerates the problem. Most police officers are dedicated professionals who make an effort to protect the community. However, they are human just like the rest of us. They make mistakes that sometimes cost another person his or her life. But they also risk their own lives to protect others. They are placed in life threatening situations on a daily basis. They never know when someone is going to try to shoot them. Their jobs are difficult and stressful and I believe that most police officers are doing their best.
In every profession, there are a few workers who don’t measure up, who make mistakes. Even doctors mess up and accidentally cause the death of patients. But, the media does not criticize every doctor based on the mistakes of a few. Unfortunately, the media often crucifies police officers. As previously mentioned, police officers need to get more involved in the community on a social level in order to help improve their images and build trust. “The first step in building good relations with the community is to understand and respond to the expectations of people across a range of possible police encounters.
Officers should focus on day-to-day interactions with the public,” (Horowitz, 2007).
- Clery Act Crime Definitions (1999).
- Retrieved March 5, 2007, from http://security. vassar. edu/definitions.
- html Crime in Texas (2003).
- Retrieved March 5, 2007, from http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/crimereports/03/cit03ch6.pdf