Hate crimes can have a devastating effect on a community. To recognize that, on Monday Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson officially proclaimed October 3 as “FBI Dallas Hate Crimes Awareness Day.”
Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities, the FBI said in a statement.
In Dallas, public outreach momentum on the issue will continue, the city said, with an expansion of local transit advertising via bus and rail wraps.
The city also unveiled two community-centric murals in conjunction with the Mayor’s Anti-Hate Advisory Council, and the Office of Arts & Culture’s Community Arts Division, in collaboration with Code Compliance, for the Beautiful Communities initiative.
Monday’s unveiling will be further recognized Monday night with a citywide blue light show seen on Bank of America Plaza, Omni, One AT&T Plaza, and Reunion Tower at dusk.
Effort builds on a campaign by the FBI
In fall 2021, the FBI launched a national media campaign with billboards, ads, and radio spots to build public awareness of hate crimes and encourage crime reporting to law enforcement. Toward that effort, the Dallas Field Office of the FBI coordinated advertising at Dallas Love Field, DFW International Airport, area gas stations, digital billboards, on AM and FM radio stations, and mobile, digital, and web media.
Dallas mayor: ‘Hate is real. But so is love.’
“Through this proclamation, we are acknowledging that hate is real. But so is love,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement. “We must use that love to educate others and continue to facilitate meaningful dialogue between people from all walks of life. And we must take clear actions and amplify messages that increase tolerance and understanding in Dallas. Together, we can fight hate, put public safety first, and enhance the vibrancy of all of our communities.”
FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno said the FBI “defines a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity and we are charged to defend the civil rights of the communities we serve.”
“We actively work with our law enforcement partners to investigate hate crimes and achieve justice for victims impacted by violence,” DeSarno said in a statement. “We will pursue individuals who commit violent, hateful acts against any member of our community.”
Mural artists interpret the FBI’s call
In Dallas, the artists chosen to interpret the FBI’s call to report hate crimes to law enforcement demonstrated their close ties to the community and their distinctive designs, the city said.
The Dallas mural locations are at 200 S. Tyler Street, by the artist Daniel Yanez; and on a Katy Trail underpass pillar on Cedar Springs between Carlisle & Turtle Creek, by the artist Isaac Davies.
FBI takes the lead on many hate crime investigations
The FBI takes the lead for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes and works closely with local, state, and other federal law enforcement partners in many of these cases, even when federal charges are not pursued. The agency said it also works proactively to detect and prevent incidents through law enforcement training, public outreach, and partnerships with community groups.
The FBI said that victims and witnesses of any hate-related incident are encouraged to report the information to law enforcement. Once a possible crime is reported, it’s assessed by the FBI and then dedicated resources and specialized expertise are engaged to determine the best course of action for investigation and adjudication.
The FBI said that it protects all victims of crimes, regardless of their country of national origin or immigration status. To report a possible hate crime, you can call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit an online tip at tips.fbi.gov.
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