CHICAGO — Chicago’s Human Rights Commissioner said Wednesday that hate crimes in the city are up 60% this year, especially because of immigration status, sexual orientation and religion.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Commissioner Mona Noriega delivered the news during her budget hearing with the city council last week.
Noriega told the council that 77 hate crimes have been reported so far this year.
“I don’t think that’s unusual in regards to what the context of the United States is,” she said, according to the newspaper.
Ald. Andre Vasquez, whose 40th Ward has large communities of immigrants, Jewish and Muslim residents and a growing LGBTQ population, decried the report.
“The rates that Commissioner Noriega stated during her budget hearing are heart breaking,” Vasquez told the Eagle. “Our greatest strength is the diversity that defines us and the current environment is trying to rob us. It is time that laws are updated so that crimes against our black trans sisters is adequately reported as the hate crime that it is. It is time that we fully fund the Commissioner so that her team is equipped to educate the community and investigate when their quality of life is sacrificed. It is time that we proactively come to together as a community / neighborhood and I’m looking forward to facilitating those conversations.”