U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., says he will introduce legislation to help combat the recent surge in hate crimes across the nation.
The bill would create incentives for law enforcement to submit credible and complete reports on hate crimes.
Blumenthal says FBI data show a 6.8 percent increase in hate crimes nationwide in 2015, but due to "dramatic underreporting" the real figure is likely much higher.
“They are underreported and sometimes completely unreported because of the fear and also the shame and embarrassment.”
The bill would also establish grants to fund state-run hate crime hotlines. Victims of hate crimes would also have the right to sue in federal courts, even in states without hate crime laws.