The Waterloo Police Department is continuing its investigation into the death of Marcellus Richard Andrews. The investigation has revealed that the motive for this crime was not based upon the victim’s status, or perceived status, as is required by Iowa code to deem such an incident a hate crime.
It can be difficult to distinguish a hate crime from other crimes. In order to pursue charges under Iowa’s hate crime code, police have to provide proof that the intent to commit the crime was a bias-motivated act. Although offensive and disparaging words were being used during this incident, it does not rise to the threshold required by Iowa code to indicate a bias-motivated crime.
FBI statistics show that out of the 77,838 crimes reported in Iowa in 2009, 18 met the requirements to be classified as hate crimes.
Although the Waterloo Police Department is not able to show this incident meets the threshold required by Iowa code to be a hate crime, it is anticipated that criminal charges will be forthcoming upon review of this investigation by the county attorney.
Daniel J. Trelka, Director of Safety Services