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A recently released FBI report details the fact that there’s been a spike in Mississippi hate crimes over the past year. But activists are concerned that the numbers may in fact be twice as high than what’s officially on record.
There were 11 reported hate crimes in the state last year, up from two in 2009. Of the 63 participating agencies in Mississippi, Gulfport was the only one to report a hate crime in 2010, according to Jackson’s Clarion-Ledger. More than two-thirds of Mississippi’s counties failed to file a report with the Justice Department.
Nationwide, hate crimes remained about the same, going from 6,604 in 2009 to 6,628 in 2010, according to the FBI.
But Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, tells the Clarion Ledger that he believes the total number of hate crimes is much higher. “There have been two major Justice Department studies and the upshot is the real level is about 200,000 hate crimes a year.”
“More than half of hate crimes are never reported,” Potok went on to say.