San Antonio PD learns more about handling hate crimes

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Police Department is taking part in some new training on the issue of hate crimes and how to handle them.

In 2016, authorities in San Antonio reported nine hate crimes to the FBI involving race, religion or sexual orientation. In 2017, San Antonio police reported four hate crimes.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation, along with the nonprofit Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, trained local law enforcement officials on how to work with prosecutors and outside authorities when investigating a hate crime.

"(This is) to make sure the victim's rights are protected and also to make (sure) that the crime is investigated as well as it should be," said Cynthia Deitle, of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. "Only a minority of the 18,000 law enforcement officers in the United States receive training on hate crimes."

Deitle worked for the FBI for 22 years before joining the foundation, which is named after the 21-year-old Wyoming student who died in a brutal attack involving his sexuality in 1998.

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