D.C. police to start posting hate crime data online
D.C. police will begin posting data related to hate crimes online every month after transgender groups raised concerns that the police department isn’t doing enough to prevent crimes against the transgender community.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the city would begin posting the crime statistics online.
Activists claim hate crimes are on the rise, saying there were 23 crimes in which transgender victims were targeted in just the last four months. In some cases they feel police are not sufficiently addressing the problem.
“We haven't seen a willingness to investigate crimes against trans people... to us that spells trans-phobia, it spells discrimination and it can’t be tolerated,” said Jason Terry of the D.C. Trans Coalition.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier pushed back, arguing MPD has put significant resources into a special liaison unit to work with the transgender community as well as sensitivity training for officers.
Ruby Corado says she's rushed to some two dozen crime scenes involving transgender victims in the last year, two of them murders.
“I know the time of the call and who's making it and unfortunately I am already numb,” the activist says.
According to a 2011 survey, nearly half of transgender people report being uncomfortable asking police for help. Data on hate crimes in the District is difficult to track, as it’s challenging to prove a crime was motivated by hate or bias.
Corado worries the Metropolitan Police Department isn't doing enough to prevent crimes targeting the transgender community.
“I mean, what are you really doing to combat this? This is happening in your backyard and I don't think every year that you keep seeing what's going on you can remain silent,” Corado said.
Corado said she hopes statistics will shine a light on the issue. “We should all be ashamed this is happening and you should at least raise your voice,” she said.
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