hate crime

WBFO/Michael Mroziak

The Erie County District Attorney has charged two men in what prosecutors say was a hate crime that began with weeks of harassment that escalated to an arson attack last December.

Thomas O'Neil-White

A man accused of hate crimes in an incident over the summer is standing trial in Erie County Court.

An Amherst teenager has been arraigned in Amherst Town Court on a felony count of aggravated harassment as a hate crime.

Buffalo police and the Erie County District Attorney's Office are probing a series of crimes that appear to target a Muslim neighborhood on the city's East Side.


Nick Lippa / WBFO

Jeffrey Calhoun of Lockport is facing charges after a traffic incident led to an altercation that was captured on camera.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. ET Friday

Weeks after Jussie Smollett reported being assaulted in a potential hate crime, the Empire actor has been released on bail after police questioned him for allegedly orchestrating the attack. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett faked the incident, paying two brothers about $3,500 to join a "publicity stunt" staged by Smollett because he "was dissatisfied with his salary."

Greece Police Department

Police Chief Patrick Phelan says the investigation began last week when a 16-year-old student showed a photo of another person to his friends and made a comment, claiming that the person looks like he could be a school shooter.

The number of hate crimes reported last year rose by 4.6 percent compared to the previous year, according to data released Monday by the FBI.

The total tally of hate crimes in 2016 was 6,121, compared to 5,850 in 2015. More than half of those incidents were motivated by the victim's race.

The FBI statistics are based on voluntary reporting by nearly 16,000 local law-enforcement agencies. Civil-rights groups, however, say the figures are deeply flawed because of what they say is systemic under-reporting.

Self-described white nationalist Christopher Cantwell, who became a public face of the now-infamous "Unite the Right" rally in Charlotteville, Va., was denied bond Thursday at the Albemarle County General District Court, said University of Virginia Police.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Racism, bigotry, and Donald Trump were denounced Wednesday during a prayer vigil in the historic Durham Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in downtown Buffalo.

The NAACP has issued a travel advisory for the state of Missouri, citing recent "race-based incidents" and new state legislation that makes it harder for fired employees to prove racial discrimination.

It's the first time the national civil rights organization has issued a travel warning for an entire state, the Kansas City Star reports.

The group warns "African American travelers, visitors and Missourians" to "exercise extreme caution" in the state.

New York State will use $1 million set aside in its new budget to establish a hate crimes task force.

Raven Hillyard

Members of Allentown's LGBTQ community met behind closed doors Thursday night to talk about solutions to the apparent gay-bashing incident early Saturday morning in Allentown that left several people hurt outside a popular pizza business.

WBFO News photo

Canisius College says it has identified all of the individuals involved with a black baby doll found in a dorm elevator last month and related racist social media posts. Two of the students have left the college and the others have been disciplined.

Holocaust Center joins alarm about hate crimes

Dec 9, 2016

In recent months, there has been a surge in reported hate speech - on Jews, Hispanics, Muslims, African Americans, women and members of the LGBTQ community. Now an international group of 90 organizations, including the Holocaust Center of Buffalo, plus 71 Holocaust scholars and educators have signed on to a statement condemning such intolerance.

Federal law enforcement agencies are offering a $10,000 reward in connection with the firebombing of a home in Buffalo last year.

The FBI's Special Agent in Charge Christopher Piehota said a duplex on Mackinaw Street in the Old First Ward had to be demolished after it was damaged by a second arson in May of last year. 

One firefighter was hurt at the scene.  But the victim, a refugee, was not injured. 

Piehota said evidence indicates it may be a hate crime  and investigators need the public's help.