FBI says reports of hate crimes rising in Nebraska, Iowa
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - FBI officials in the Omaha area say that, in the past few years, our region of Iowa and Nebraska — and across the country — reports of hate crimes are increasing.
FBI officials in Omaha want to make sure that any possible hate crimes in our area don’t go unnoticed.
“We, in the FBI, have engaged in a nationwide effort to build public awareness of hate crimes and the courage of people who become aware of hate crimes or the victim of a hate crime to call us,” said Gene Kowel, special agent in charge of the FBI Omaha field office. “You know, hate crimes are one of the highest priorities of the FBI because of the devastation and impact it can have on families and communities.”
Omaha’s Anti-Defamation League has dealt with hate crime issues before, they told 6 News. The reporting of incidents that fall in the gray area of free speech and actually committing a crime are up locally, and the complaints are not coming against any particular hate groups.
“Those groups are there, and they’re very small,” said Murphy Wulfgar of the Anti-Defamation League. “The majority of reports that we get are individuals on individual incidents — people who don’t necessarily belong to a group but adhere to an ideology.”
Residents who want to report hate crimes should call their local police department or their local FBI field office at 1-800-CALLFBI.
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