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April 28, 2014

FBI chief mourns Overland Park shootings, urges better tracking of hate crimes

Mourning three recent killings outside Jewish sites in Overland Park, by “a madman with a warped view of what America should look like,” FBI Director James Comey called Monday for stronger reporting of hate crimes and increased education to help prevent them.

Mourning three recent killings outside Jewish sites in Overland Park, by “a madman with a warped view of what America should look like,” FBI Director James Comey called Monday for stronger reporting of hate crimes and increased education to help prevent them.

“There are jurisdictions that fail to report hate-crime statistics,” Comey said, without naming any cities, counties or states. “Other jurisdictions claim there were no hate crimes in their community, a fact that would be welcome if true.”

“We must continue to impress upon our state and local counterparts in every jurisdiction the need to track and report hate crime.”

Comey made the comments in a speech to a national conference of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group on which he heaped praise for helping to train tens of thousands of law enforcement officers about civil rights laws and hate crimes. He also credited the league for “tracking and exposing domestic and international terrorist threats.”

“If this sounds a bit like a love letter to the ADL, it is,” Comey said, hailing the group’s crusade for fairness and equality for over a century.

Comey opened his speech by lamenting the events two weeks earlier in Overland Park, Kan., where white supremacist F. Glenn Miller Jr. is accused of opening fire outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom, killing three people.

“He targeted individuals who were strangers to him, for no other reason than that he believed they were Jewish,” Comey said.

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