Attorney general: Bias incidents in 2019 up 65% from 2018 in New Jersey

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Reported bias incidents increased in 2019 from 2018, according to new information released by the Office of the Attorney General.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal released the new information Monday. Grewal says that 944 bias incidents were reported in 2019 – up 65% from 2018.

“These preliminary numbers reinforce what we’ve suspected all year, and what too many New Jersey residents know all too well. More and more people are alerting law enforcement about acts of hatred and intolerance that target victims based solely on what they look like, how they worship, or who they love. Now more than ever, we need to come together as a community to confront this rising tide of hate,” Grewal said in a statement.

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Among the 944 incidents was the Dec. 10 shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City. Three people were killed in that shooting. Investigators say that the attackers were fueled by anti-Semitism and hatred for police officers.

Under the New Jersey Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) System, a “bias incident” is a suspected or confirmed case in which a victim is subjected to harassment, assault, terroristic threats, or other specified acts “because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.”

The attorney general’s office has set up a hotline for people to report bias crimes at 800-227-BIAS.

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