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Hate crime is whereby the defendant intentionally identifies a victim of crime, mainly because of the victim’s perceived or actual ethnicity, color, gender, race, sexual orientation or national origin. This crime mainly applies to vandalism and attacks that happen to homeless people, marginalized groups, disabled people or people in the national parks or beaches. An example of hate crime is an attack because of the race that occurred in Howard Beach, when a black man, Mr. Michael Griffith, was succumbed to death as he escaped from a group of white men. Evidence shows that the man's murder was because he did not belong to the same race as the attackers. This is an indication that if he had been of a different race, the murder would not occur (Maroney, 1998).
Motive of the Crime
In most cases, the resentment against a group of people leads to the hate of crime acts. Some are like mission offenders who hold that their mission is to cleanse the world of a certain evil. While others act as scapegoat offenders, who act violently out of their held resentments based on their perceived developing economic power of a particular ethnic or racial group.
Thrill seekers category usually takes advantage of disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalized group in a quest to gratify their pleasures. Teen thrill seekers are the most common perpetrators of violence against homeless people. This is due to idleness, peer pressure and unemployment. Solutions should be devised so as to curb this problem.
Crime Data Reports
Crime data suggest that hate crimes may result because of ignorance or prejudice. It may be caused by misunderstanding about the differences between people and their cultural traditions which may contribute to intolerance and fear. In the case of Mr. Griffith's death, crime data shows that, his death was probably racially motivated or it was a result of misunderstanding between him and white suspects.
Based on the crime data evidence and reports from law enforcers, there are alarming hate crime incidents reported in the country. Racial bias accounts for the largest percentage of racially motivated cases, followed by biases on the basis of religious beliefs, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability. Crimes resulting from bias towards anti-blacks are extremely rampant. Recent crime data reports indicate that hate crime is on the decline in America. This is because of the enactment of a section of hate crime control and law enforcement acts that discourage hate crime.
Crime data evidence suggests the largest percentage of hate crime against homeless citizens in America were committed by citizens or perpetrators approximately twenty years ago.
Connection between the Crime and Location of Crime
Various reports and researches indicate that the most hate crimes occur near or on residential properties, highways, alleys, roads, beaches and along the streets. Others may occur at colleges and schools and across other related areas. Howard Beach was the strategic location (crime spot) of the mission offenders group whose main aim was to cleanse the country from certain evil (blacks). Racism and prejudice was the mission because of the strong resentment they had against blacks.
To prevent hate crime people should observe human rights and learn to celebrate and respect cultural diversities at all times. Also, laws should be enforced to create more protection for vulnerable populations. Improving police trainings to enhance the protection of vulnerable groups is significant. The hate crime prevention Act should empower the Justice Department to enable it to prosecute cases related to hate crimes on the basis race, national origin, color, religion and ethnicity. Parents have a responsibility to guide their children not to involve themselves in violent activities.