ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Hate crime reports have jumped at an alarming rate in the Duke City, according to the latest numbers from the FBI.
Albuquerque Police statistics from 2014 to 2016 show the groups targeted most are African Americans, Muslims, Jews and members of the LGBT community.
In one case from June 2016, police were called to a home in the Northeast Heights to find profanities, swastikas and other hateful messages tagged on an Albuquerque family’s four cars and house.
“That elevates it to a hate crime,” the responding officer is heard saying in the lapel video.
The next day, the family called police again when they discovered wires were cut under the cars and their gas tanks were tampered with.
APD data shows an up-and-down trend when it comes to hate crimes, with 19 reports in 2014 and a drop to 12 in 2015. In 2016, that number more than doubled to 27 hate crimes.
“It’s troubling to see the nationwide trend of an uptick in hate crimes,” APD Public Information Officer Gilbert Gallegos said in an emailed statement to KRQE News 13. “In Albuquerque, the community took a stand and elected Mayor Keller to send a message that there is no room for hatred in our city. Our leadership at the Mayor’s office and at APD is committed to inclusion, equality and diversity and follows procedures to report hate crimes to the FBI for investigation.”
The ACLU of New Mexico said there’s a good chance a lot of cases go unreported because of fear of backlash or to avoid drawing more unwanted attention.
“It’s important that organizations like ours, as well as the city and other entities of government also speak out strongly in response to these kinds of trends,” ACLU Executive Director Peter Simonson said.