JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Federal Bureau of Investigations reported in 2009, the incidences of Hate Crimes in Mississippi were the lowest in the nation with just two.
The state had the lowest rate in the nation, but the American Civil Liberties Union says they receive calls at least once a week with people reporting hate crimes.
"Only two are shown in this report, it doesn't actually reflect the number of hate crimes," Brent Cox from the ACLU said. "Rather the number that are reported by Mississippi law enforcement."
Mississippi College School of Law Professor Matthew Steffey says often these formal statistics misrepresent what is actually true.
"This is a difficult thing to get an exact number on," Steffey said. "Many crimes may be disposed of as assault of crimes or other kind of property crimes that are formally disposed of as hate crimes."
Steffey says often hate crimes are violent of nature and can range from bias towards someone's race, sexual orientation preference, religious background, or their national origin.
"These are statistics compiled by the FBI largely as a result of voluntary statistics by local law enforcement."
Nationwide the FBI reported more than 6,500 cases total.
Almost 50 percent of those were motivated by race, whereas 19 percent was against a persons religion, and 18 percent was against someone's sexual orientation preference.
The ACLU says only way to get the most accurate reading in Mississippi is for the State Legislature to pass a law requiring all law enforcement to be trained to detect when hate crime occurs.
"We need State Legislation requiring officers to report and collect that data, Cox said. "Otherwise we're going to come out with misrepresented reports like this year after year."
In 2008, the FBI listed four formal reports on hate crime in Mississippi.
The ACLU says often people don't report these crimes for fear of being revictimized.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:31:22 GMT
The pastor and members of a Jefferson county church make the gruesome discovery of a body on the way to Bible study Wednesday evening. Sheriff Peter Walker said a woman's body was found just before 6:30More >>
Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Walker has identified the woman found dead in the cemetery of East Mount Olive Baptist Church Wednesday night.
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:13 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:13:14 GMT
Two elementary school girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by another female student. One incident happening while the two girls were at school. Two mothers are now speaking out about their daughters.More >>
Two Jackson mothers are speaking out after they say their daughters were sexually assaulted by another female student. One of the incidents allegedly happened at school.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:05:30 GMT
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.A spokesperson for the Mississippi DepartmentMore >>
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 2:07 PM EDT2013-05-23 18:07:42 GMT
Joseph Patrick Coates has pled guilty to three counts of sale of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 52 years in prison. The last eight years of the sentenced were suspended and he'll be placedMore >>
Joseph Patrick Coates has pleaded guilty to three counts of sale of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 52 years in prison. The last eight years of the sentence were suspended and he'll be placed on supervised probation following his release.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:38:18 GMT
The picture of a George County dog set on fire is disturbing. Authorities say the circumstances surrounding how fire consumed the dog are shocking. According to George County Sheriff Dean Howell, 20-year-oldMore >>
Socks, the dog reportedly burned this week by his owner, has died. That word comes from a George County Sheriff's deputy. Socks succumbed to injuries suffered after 20-year-old Brandon Pierce allegedly set his dog on fire Tuesday night. The suspect told deputies he torched the dog because he "wanted to help the dog go to heaven."More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:28 AM EDT2013-05-23 13:28:21 GMT
Three on Your Side receives a complaint of tainted gas in Clinton Wednesday. Toby Latham said water in gasoline from Kangaroo Express on Springridge Road damaged his vehicle. According to the Byram motorist,More >>
One customer at a gas station in Clinton claims water in the fuel damaged his vehicle.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:17:05 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
Eighty-one year old Ethel Winstead Simpson was killed between 11:30 p.m. on September 13 and 1:15 a.m. on September 14, 2010. Prosecutors narrowed down the time frame Wednesday in the Capital Murder trial of James Hutto.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201