Utah leaders, community partners hope to counter rise in hate crimes

Jan 16, 2024, 11:16 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — The reported increase in hate crimes in Utah and across the country is a concerning trend. KSL TV, along with community leaders, is taking steps to address and combat this issue.

Leaders emphasize the importance of recognizing and reporting hate crimes to foster dialogue between law enforcement and targeted individuals.

The Community Partners Against Hate, sponsored by the United Jewish Federation of Utah, released a video highlighting a coordinated effort to stop hate. The Anti-Defamation League found a significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. following the Israel-Hamas war.

According to the FBI, total hate crimes in the last 10 years have more than doubled, with some categories in Utah experiencing even higher rates. Olivia Jaramillo from Equality Utah encourages individuals unsure if they’ve experienced a hate crime to report it promptly.

“If you’re ever in the situation where you’re unsure if you’ve suffered a hate crime, you should definitely report it,” Jaramillo said. “That is one of those instances where you should not hesitate, report it and let the authorities handle that.”

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill emphasizes the challenge of prosecuting hate crimes and urges people to report incidents for proper investigation and prosecution. The coalition aims to increase reporting, giving targeted individuals the confidence to come forward.

“If you don’t report it, it will never be investigated and if it’s not investigated then it won’t be prosecuted and if it’s not prosecuted there’s no accountability,” Gill said. “Then we can’t prevent it from happening.”

Utah legislators passed a law in 2019 in Utah to increase penalties for crimes designated as hate crimes.

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Utah leaders, community partners hope to counter rise in hate crimes