The City of Chicago is proud of its diverse population. Its residents mirror nearly every race, religion, nationality, and culture in the world.
Unfortunately, there are individuals and hate groups who would disrespect this diversity by committing crimes or acts targeting individuals or groups based on an actual or perceived hate due to race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or gender. These crimes or acts are known as Hate Crimes or Hate Incidents.
The Chicago Police Department’s response to hate crimes involves many Divisions working together. The Civil Rights section is primarily responsible for the investigation of reported hate crimes. Working in conjunction with the Detective Division, Patrol Division, and Youth Division, reported hate crimes are investigated in a timely manner and attempts are made to arrest all persons alleged to have violated the rights of others. When arrests are made, all information relative to the investigation is presented to the Felony Review Unit of the Cook County States Attorney’s Office for further review and approval of charges.
In addition to enforcement responsibilities, the Civil Rights Section is responsible for the documentation and distribution of hate crime statistical data displayed in the Chicago Police Annual Hate Crime Report, and the F.B.I. Yearly Statistical Report in compliance with the Federal Hate Crime Statistics Act. Members of the Civil Rights Section also regularly speak on hate crime matters at CAPS meetings, community meetings, religious congregational meetings, and at other organizational event upon request.
A hate crime is any attempted or actual criminal act, as defined by state statute, perpetrated on a person or persons, due to the victims actual or perceived race, color, creed, ancestry, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or gender.
The following are examples of hate crimes:
- Criminal acts which inflict injury regardless of severity.
- Threats of bodily harm or violence that look like they can be carried out.
- Criminal acts which result in property damage.
- Any criminal act or attempted criminal act directed against public or private agencies, schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, or religious institutions.
Hate incidents are non-criminal actions by any person or group, directed toward the person or property of another, due to a victims race, color, creed, ancestry, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or gender.
The following are examples of hate incidents:
- The circulation of offensive printed material, handwritten material, or drawings placed on lawns, porches, stairways, automobiles, vestibules or in mailboxes.
- Offensive communication from one person to another such as insults, jeers, signs, and body language that does not constitute a criminal act.