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FBI Releases Hate Crime Statistics, 2004

Washington, D.C. November 14, 2005
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

Washington, D.C.—According to an annual report released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 7,649 criminal incidents committed in 2004 resulted from antagonism toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. The report, Hate Crime Statistics, 2004, aggregates data supplied by local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies that voluntarily participate in the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, administered by the FBI. Analyses of the data address the categories of incidents, offenses, victims, offenders, and location. The publication also details what types of bias-motivated incidents each participating agency reported.

Incidents

The bias-motivated incidents reported to the FBI in 2004 involved 9,035 separate offenses and 9,528 victims. All but 7 of the incidents had a single-bias motivation. Racial bias motivated 52.9 percent of the single-bias incidents, religious intolerance led to 18.0 percent, bias about sexual orientation triggered 15.7 percent, and bias regarding ethnicity/national origin led to 12.7 percent of the incidents. Less than 1.0 percent involved bias against a disability.

Offenses and Victims

The UCR Program categorizes murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, and intimidation as crimes against persons. In this category, the most-often reported bias-motivated offense was intimidation, comprising 50.1 percent of the total. Simple assault accounted for 31.0 percent of such offenses. Murder and forcible rape each accounted for less than 0.1 percent of the total, with 5 murders and 4 forcible rapes. The remaining offenses were in the category of other, accounting for 0.3 percent.

Three of the 5 bias-motivated murders reported by law enforcement resulted from the offender =s racial prejudice, 1 murder stemmed from religious bias, and the other murder resulted from bias against a particular sexual orientation. All 4 of the reported forcible rapes were motivated by racial prejudice.

In the UCR Program, the category crimes against property includes robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and damage/destruction/vandalism. The latter was the most-often reported bias-motivated offense in this category, accounting for 84.4 percent of the total. An analysis of the victim data for crimes against property showed that 51.4 percent of those offenses targeted individuals, 10.4 percent were against businesses and/or financial institutions, 8.1 percent were against governmental entities, and 7.6 percent were against religious organizations. Offenses against unknown, multiple, or other victim types accounted for the remainder of crimes against property.

Offenders

Besides collecting data about the incidents, victims, and offenses involving hate crimes, the UCR Program gathers information about known offenders. In this context, known offender implies not that the identity of the perpetrator is known but that a distinguishing attribute of the offender has been identified. In 2004, law enforcement agencies reported a total of 7,145 known offenders involved in 7,649 bias-motivated incidents. Of these offenders, 60.6 percent were white, and 19.7 percent were black. The race was unknown for 12.9 percent of the known offenders, and other races or members of a group composed of multiple races accounted for the remaining known offenders.

Location

Reporting agencies may specify the location of a hate crime incident as one of 25 location types. An examination of the hate crime incidents reported in 2004 indicated that of the 7,649 incidents, 31.7 percent occurred in or near residences or homes; 18.3 percent took place on highways, roads, alleys, or streets; and 11.7 percent happened at schools or colleges. The remaining incidents occurred at various other locations.

Jurisdictional Participation

The information contained in the current report was submitted to the FBI by 12,711 agencies covering 86.6 percent of the U.S. population. Of those agencies, 2,046 (16.1 percent) reported the 7,649 incidents. The remaining agencies (83.9 percent) reported that no hate crimes occurred within their jurisdictions.