Florida International University Study To Look At Underreporting of LGBT Hate Crimes

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A criminal justice professor at Florida International University in Miami is looking into why people don’t report hate crimes, especially those against LGBT individuals.

Besiki Luka Kutateladze recently received a $500,000 grant to pursue the subject, according to the Miami-Broward New Times. With the money and help from nonprofit the SAVE Foundation,  Kutateladze will interview over 400 LGBT people in the area about their experiences as well as talking to law enforcement officials and going through case files. The study will begin next year.

"Something big is missing here, clearly," Kutateladze said to the New Times. "and we cannot just keep saying that."

The Miami-Dade Police Department reported only one hate crime in their statistics for 2015-2016. According to the New Times, both Miami-Dade PD and the State Attorney’s office will partner with FIU for the study.

“In Miami, with the population being both majority immigrant and Latino, reporting any crime poses legal and cultural challenges, but reporting crimes committed because of bias against LGBTQ individuals is even more difficult,’’ Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with Florida International University because it has the capacity to do this work.”

Kutateladze said that he hopes the study can improve services for victims and help law enforcement better tackle the problem.


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