FBI Dallas launches new campaign for hate crime awareness

The City of Dallas and the FBI are urging people through the campaign to come forward if they’ve been a victim of a hate crime.

DALLAS — Across the country hate crimes are on the rise, including in North Texas.

The FBI and the Dallas mayor announced Monday, Oct. 3, as FBI Hate Crime Awareness Day.

The city and the FBI are urging people through the campaign to come forward if they’ve been a victim of a hate crime.

“Hate does not have a place in Dallas,” said Matthew DeSarno, the FBI special agent in charge in Dallas.

Standing in front of a special mural in Oak Cliff, on South Tyler Street, DeSarno has a strong message.

“We know that hate crimes are under reported,” said DeSarno.

The FBI is rolling out a new campaign from city buses to the rail system to several intersections, saying “protecting our community together, report hate crimes.”

“We take hate crimes as our top investigative priority,” said DeSarno.

While many are afraid to come forward and report a hate crime, the city hopes the multicultural murals help everyone feel comfortable.

“Us seeing ourselves in this style, the pattern and colors, we get a good sense of how we’re all related,” said Daniel Yanez, the artist.

Yanez is an artist and an immigrant from Mexico. He shared his story of hate in Deep Ellum, where he says, someone yelled to his face, “I hate Mexicans.”

“We all go through the same problems, and can get through it together,” said Yanez.

Recent investigations in North Texas have put hate crimes in the spotlight.

In August, Esmeralda Uptown was arrested on assault and terroristic threats after a racist confrontation in Plano.

Then in May, Dallas police arrested Jeremy Smith, accused of shooting three women at a Koreatown hair salon. The FBI said there is a federal hate crime investigation still ongoing.

“Our mission is to protect the American people and uphold the constitution,” said DeSarno.

“You can report to us through 1-800-CALL-FBI,” said DeSarno.

Bottom line, the FBI said they don’t want anyone to be afraid to report a hate crime, regardless of their immigration status or ethnicity.

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