Hate crimes in New Mexico elevated in 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Hate crimes in New Mexico are on the rise, and one group sees more violence against them than others. Hate crimes against African Americans are on the rise in New Mexico. The NAACP said it was working with state lawmakers to increase punishment for people who commit hate crimes.

In the FBI’s latest statistics, state law enforcement reported 55 cases of hate crimes in New Mexico in 2020. Five more than the year before. “I think it’s important, it’s a serious situation here in New Mexico and in America at large,” said Albuquerque NAACP President Harold Bailey, Ph.D.

In 2020, News 13 reported on some local businesses that were being targeted. Vandals demolished an Indian restaurant in Santa Fe and left racist slur on the walls, and an Asian restaurant in downtown Albuquerque had graffiti with “clock with coronavirus” sprayed on the back walls.

According to the latest FBI statistics, most reports are about race. The top targets: African American.

“We know African Americans are negatively affected by hate crimes, but Chinese, Asian and Pacific islanders, the LGBTQ trans-citizens – they are exposed to racial hatred,” Bailey said. “That’s why we all have to be aware of this situation and do something about it.”

News 13 asked if recent protests against Black Lives Matter both nationwide and locally are driving up hate crimes against African Americans. The FBI and NAACP aren’t sure what’s behind the tip, but they are still investigating. Hispanic, white, and gay men were also victims of hate crimes in New Mexico last year. The data worries the NAACP’s Albuquerque chapter. They said they are working with state lawmakers to increase penalties for people who commit hate crimes.

“I think it’s a sign of the times. We have to do something about it, otherwise things could be amplified drastically, ”said Bailey. “We will find more target groups that are directed against these target groups. So if we pass laws that have teeth in them, I think that would be a deterrent.”

The Albuquerque FBI department believes there is a lot more hate crime in our state that is not reported. You are working on a campaign to encourage people to report hate crimes to law enforcement. If someone is currently convicted of a hate crime, their sentence can be extended for a year or two, or they may be required to complete community service or educational programs.

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