Teachers College
Columbia University

Hate or Bias Crime Reporting

1.      Introduction                                                               

 

Bias crimes, also known as hate crimes, are criminal activity motivated by the perpetrator’s bias toward certain actual or perceived personal characteristics of the victim. Teachers College policy and federal and state law prohibit crimes motivated by bias on the basis of race, color, sex or gender, age, ancestry, national origin, religious belief or practice, disability, sexual orientation, or political persuasion.   The College is required to report annually on the statistical incidence of bias crimes on or around campus as part of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act (the ”Clery Act”)

 

Not all expressions of hate or group bias rise to the level of hate crime as defined in state and federal statutes.  Derogatory words or epithets directed against an individual because he or she is a member of particular group are not considered hate crimes, if not accompanied by a threat of harm with the ability to carry it out. Such hate-related incidents may, however, .be violations of TC standards and norms.

 

Note: Tracking and analyzing hate incidents provides the needed information for the community to identify potential threats and assess the level of tension on their community. Please report incidents to the Office of Public Safety or to a campus official.

 

2.       Federal Law

 

The Clery Act defines hate crimes as any of the crimes otherwise reportable under the Clery Act or any bodily injury to any person in which the victim is intentionally selected because of the actual or perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability of the victim.

 

3.      New York State Law

 

New York Penal Law specifies that a person commits a hate crime, when he or she commits a specified offense and either intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of the person, regardless of whether the perception or belief is correct, or intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception with respect to the categories enumerated above.

 

The specified offenses are assault in the third degree; assault in the second degree; assault in the first degree; aggravated assault upon a person less than eleven years old; menacing in the first degree; menacing in the second degree; menacing in the third degree; reckless endangerment in the second degree; reckless endangerment in the first degree; manslaughter in the first degree; manslaughter in the second degree; murder in the second degree; stalking in the fourth degree; stalking in the third degree; stalking in the second degree; stalking in the first degree; rape in the first degree; criminal sexual act in the first degree; sexual abuse in the first degree; aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree; aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree; unlawful imprisonment in the second degree; unlawful imprisonment in the first degree; kidnapping in the second degree; kidnapping in the first degree; coercion in the second degree; coercion in the first degree; criminal trespass in the third degree; criminal trespass in the second degree; criminal trespass in the first degree; burglary in the third degree; burglary in the second degree; burglary in the first degree; criminal mischief in the fourth degree; criminal mischief in the third degree; criminal mischief in the second degree; criminal mischief in the first degree; arson in the fourth degree; arson in the third degree; arson in the second degree; arson in the first degree; petit larceny; grand larceny in the fourth degree; grand larceny in the third degree; grand larceny in the second degree; grand larceny in the first degree; robbery in the third degree; robbery in the second degree; robbery in the first degree; harassment in the first degree; aggravated harassment in the second degree; or any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offenses.

 

When a person is convicted of a hate crime where the specified offense is a violent felony offense, the hate crime shall be deemed a violent felony offense.  When a person is convicted of a hate crime where the specified offense is a misdemeanor or a class C, D or E felony, the hate crime shall be deemed to be one category higher than the specified offense the defendant committed, or one category higher than the offense level applicable to the defendant’s conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit a specified offense, whichever is applicable.

 

4.      Policy and Procedure

 

An individual, who believes he/she may have been the victim of a hate crime or may have witnessed a hate crime, should contact the Coy Department of Public Safety immediately.  The Department of Public Safety is located 106 Whittier, or by calling Public Safety at extension 3333 or (212) 678-3333.

 

When Public Safety receives a report of a hate crime, an investigator will interview witnesses, collect evidence and make any and all notifications.  Depending on the seriousness of the matter, the Department of Public Safety may refer the matter immediately to the New York City Police Department, may conduct an investigation, or may refer the matter to the appropriate dean or supervisor for Dean’s Discipline or other action.

 

There are times when an individual may believe that he or she has been victim to or witnessed an act of bias activity but there has been no apparent crime committed.  In those incidents, victims or witnesses may contact the Department of Public Safety or may choose one of the other resources listed below.

 

The Ombuds Office offers confidential and neutral complaint handling. The Ombuds Office helps callers assess options and makes referrals to appropriate College resources. It is an independent resource for conflict resolution. It serves all members of Teachers College community—students, faculty, and employees.

 

 

Hate Crimes are against New York law and are violations of the College’s anti-discrimination policy. Concerning the law and the penalties of the law, please refer to this website: http//criminaljustice.state.ny.us/internet/crimnet/clf/hatecrimesact2000.pdf           

 

5.      Reporting 

 

Under the Campus Security Act, a hate crime is a crime which is committed because of the victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexual orientation.

 

While Teachers College takes all bias-related conduct seriously, the Campus Security Act identifies only certain crimes as potential Hate crimes:

 

 

Hate Crimes are against New York law and are violations of the College’s anti-discrimination policy. Concerning the law and the penalties of the law, please refer to this website:  http//criminaljustice.state.ny.us/internet/crimnet/clf/hatecrimesact2000.pdf 

 

Reporting Hate Crimes and incidents, even those that you might not consider “serious,” is important to monitoring and stopping future incidents. By keeping detailed information on incidents, you can strengthen the case for official action. 

 

 

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