Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s Civil Rights program, not only because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities, but also because groups that preach hatred and intolerance can plant the seed of terrorism here in our country. The Bureau investigates hundreds of these cases every year and works to detect and deter further incidents through law enforcement training, public outreach, and partnerships with a myriad of community groups.
There were challenges and victories - both big and small - along the way. Here’s a look back at some of the bigger developments in the fight for passage of federal hate crimes legislation. Timeline starts at 1989 and extends to 2009.