Dallas, FBI encouraging public to report hate crimes

The city of Dallas and the FBI joined together to declare Oct. 3 Hate Crime Awareness Day.

The new campaign encourages citizens to report hate crimes.

The campaign will include public messaging on DART buses and trains encouraging people to report hate crimes and murals in Oak Lawn and Oak Cliff.

"We've got this beautiful mural that is rooted in the community, with a local artist, Dallas symbols and symbols of diversity and the message is report hate crimes," said Matthew Desarno of FBI Dallas.

The campaign started nationally last year.

In 2020, more than 8,000 hate crime episodes were reported against about 11,000 people.

Many people believe the actual number of hate crimes is much higher and going underreported because victims may not feel comfortable reporting crimes.

Barriers may include mistrust of law enforcement, worries about immigration status, not knowing how to report and not believing the report will be taken seriously.

The FBI says it has seen increases in racially motivated crimes against the Black community and Asian community, like the attacks earlier this year targeting some Asian businesses in Dallas.

READ MORE: Dallas Koreatown shooting suspect indicted on 7 hate crimes

The FBI also pointed out the hate aimed at the Jewish Religious Community, Dallas mayor Eric Johnson pointed to the January hostage incident at a Colleyville synagogue.

"Hate doesn't just come in offhand comments," said Johnson. "Hate festers and hate grows it threatens our collective sense of safety in fact it threatens our very identities."

Oak Cliff resident Daniel Yanez is the artist behind the Oak Cliff mural.

"I thought it was amazing as someone who has experienced hate crimes in the past. I thought it was a good opportunity for me to release my feelings on to the wall through art," he said.

The Dallas skyline will glow blue on Monday night for Hate Crimes Awareness Day. The Bank of America Plaza, Omni Hotel, One AT&T Plaza and Reunion Tower will all have blue lights on.