New hate crime stats overshadowed by recent incidents - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

New hate crime stats overshadowed by recent incidents

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Wisconsin (WQOW) – A recent trend on University of Wisconsin campuses could overshadow a new report about hate crimes in Wisconsin. That report says hate crimes are down statewide, dropping more than 35-percent last year.

"We feel that anytime you're reporting less crime, that's a positive sign, certainly. It would be great if we had no violent and property crimes to report," says Tami Jackson of the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance.

That report compiled data from reports filed last year. So far this year, several incidents have been reported on UW System campuses. Six of those happened at UW-Stout since the first of the month, with each report having to do with discrimination based on sexual orientation. UW-Platteville reported 25 cases of racial discrimination since the start of the school year, and UW-Whitewater has also had incidents.

The state says many of the incidents would be considered hate crimes by the FBI because threats were made targeting the victim's race or sexual orientation.

"If there is vandalism that would certainly look like it's motivated in whole or in part by an offender bias, that will meet the FBI's definition for reporting a hate crime," adds Jackson.

No arrests have been made in the Stout incidents. As News 18 reported Monday, those responsible could be suspended from school. The FBI says they could also be charged with hate crimes.

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