WASHINGTON - Despite rising incidence of far-right violence in the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Justice Department continue to deprioritize investigating the violence and prosecuting its perpetrators, according to a report released Monday.
While a handful of high-profile cases are sometimes designated as acts of “domestic terrorism” and receive the law enforcement agencies’ full investigative attention, the overwhelming majority are treated as hate crimes, gang violence and run-of-the-mill homicides, pushing them down the agencies’ list of priorities, the report says.
The label the FBI chooses to characterize an act of violence is important in determining the amount of resources devoted to the case and how wide an investigative net is cast, according to the report. Investigating terrorism currently tops the FBI’s list of eight priorities and is well resourced. Hate crimes rank fifth while gang violence comes in sixth.