Bill geared toward investigating, reporting, identifying hate crimes passes House

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – On Tuesday, a House bill co-sponsored by state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., that would strengthen law enforcement’s ability to investigate and identity hate crimes, passed the state House.

Specifically, H.B.1024, which is part of a larger anti-hate crime bill package, would provide training geared toward accurately investigating, identifying and reporting crimes of ethnic intimidation to police departments across the state.

“I’m disgusted to have to report that in 2023 hates crimes and discrimination are on the rise, especially antisemitism and Islamophobia. The worst part of all this? Experts say the actual number of hate crimes is much larger than what we’re seeing on paper,” Kenyatta said. “That’s a major problem that calls for an immediate response, which is why I supported this legislation. It’s my hope we’re able to move the remaining bills in this bill package through the state House in the near future. These numbers should be trending down – not up.”

According to data obtained by the Pennsylvania State Police, the commonwealth saw a sharp increase in hate crimes in 2021. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security noted in a 2020 threat assessment that white supremacist extremists remain the “most persistent and lethal threat to the homeland.”

In response to this assessment and the hate-based mass shootings that have occurred across the country, House Democrats introduced this bill package. 

H.B. 1024 now heads to the state Senate for consideration.