Targeted Violence in Texas: Hate Crimes Based on Race and Religion on the Rise
A report from CBS News details the commencement of the sentencing hearing for an individual from Allen, Texas, who pleaded guilty to 90 federal charges related to the 2019 mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart.
Half of these charges are classified as hate crimes.
The attack, which resulted in the tragic deaths of 23 individuals, stands as one of the deadliest acts of violence against Latinos in recent US history.
The perpetrator, Patrick Crusius, deliberately drove from Allen to El Paso with the explicit aim of targeting Mexicans.
In his guilty plea, Crusius, who identifies as a white nationalist, admitted to authoring an anti-immigrant manifesto and sharing it online moments before carrying out the attack.
As a consequence of Crusius' guilty plea, federal prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 90 consecutive life terms instead of pursuing the death penalty.
This marks a significant development in the ongoing legal proceedings surrounding the case.
The article also highlights a troubling trend: hate crimes in Texas continue to increase.
Citing data initially reported by the Texas Observer and obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the article reveals that there was a 6.4% rise in hate crimes in 2022 compared to the previous year.
The offenses recorded by the Texas DPS encompassed two murders, 66 aggravated assaults, 143 simple assaults, as well as acts of intimidation and vandalism.
Most of these crimes occurred at residential locations.
Regarding the victims of these crimes, the data indicates that 371 offenses were directed at individuals based on their race, ethnicity, or religion, with a majority targeting individuals who identify as Black.
Additionally, 60 crimes were committed against the LGBTQ community.
The Texas DPS collects data on hate crimes through its voluntary Uniform Crime System (UCR) program, with participating agencies submitting monthly reports.
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