Hate crimes are rising, regardless of Jussie Smollett’s case

Hate crimes are rising, regardless of Jussie Smollett’s case
Copyright 2019 CNN

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Thursday that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism” when he allegedly falsely reported that he was the victim of a hate crime.

And Johnson is worried about what the case could mean for victims of actual hate crimes.

“My concern is that hate crimes will now publicly be met with a level of skepticism that previously didn’t happen,” Johnson told reporters.

While Smollett’s accusations are being investigated as an alleged fabrication, crimes fueled by racism, homophobia and other prejudiced views are on the rise, according to experts.

CNN previously reported on the FBI’s hate crime statistics released last November, which showed the number of hate crimes reported to the bureau rose about 17% in 2017 compared to 2016. 2017 is the latest year for which those statistics are available.

It was the third-straight year that hate crime incidents rose.

But even the FBI’s statistics tell only part of the story: About 50% of hate crime victims don’t report the incidents to authorities,