Hate Crimes Accounting
Annual Report Released
In 2011, U.S. law enforcement agencies reported 6,222 hate crime incidents involving 7,254 offenses, according to our just-released Hate Crime Statistics, 2011 report. These incidents included offenses like vandalism, intimidation, assault, rape, murder, etc.
The data contained in this report, which is a subset of the information that law enforcement submits to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, includes the following categories: offense type, location, bias motivation, victim type, number of individual victims, number of offenders, and race of offenders.
Highlights from the 2011 Report:
- Of the 6,222 reported hate crimes, 6,216 were single-bias incidents—46.9 percent were racially motivated, 20.8 percent resulted from sexual orientation bias, 19.8 percent were motivated by religious bias, 11.6 stemmed from ethnicity/national origin bias, and 0.9 percent were prompted by disability bias.
- Law enforcement agencies reported 7,713 victims of hate crime—victims can be individuals, businesses, institutions, or society as whole. Sixty percent of these 7,713 were victims of crimes against persons, while 39.8 were victims of crimes against property.
- Thirty-two percent of the 6,222 hate crime incidents reported took place in or near residences; 18 percent took place on highways, roads, and alleys; and 9.3 percent took place at schools or colleges. The remaining percentage took place at locations like houses of worship, parking lots, bars, government and office buildings, etc.
New in Hate Crime Reporting
Beginning in 2013, law enforcement agencies reporting hates crimes will be able to get even more specific when reporting bias motivation.
For example, the new bias categories of gender and gender identity—which added four new bias types—were added to the FBI’s hate crime data collection as a result of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Other bias types were modified to comply with the race and ethnicity designations specified by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Data submitted under these new specifications will be part of the UCR program’s new system, scheduled to go online next year. (The 2013 crime data will be published in 2014).
2012 Successes in Investigating Hate Crimes
- In December, two Mississippi men pled guilty to federal hate crimes for their roles in assaulting African-Americans in Jackson. More
- In November, a South Carolina man was sentenced for committing a federal hate crime against an African-American teenager. More
- In October, a Louisiana man pled guilty to charges of defacing places of worship and lying to an FBI agent. More
- In September, a jury in Cleveland convicted 16 defendants on federal hate crime charges for religiously motivated assaults on members of the Amish community. More
- In August, a Detroit man pled guilty to a federal hate crime charge, admitting he assaulted a victim because he thought the man was gay. More
- In April, three Houston men were sentenced to federal prison on federal hate crime charges related to a racially motivated attack against a man waiting at a bus stop. More
FBI’s Role in Investigating Hate Crimes
Hate crimes continue to be the highest priority of the Bureau’s civil rights program because of their heinous nature and their impact on victims and communities (see sidebar for case examples). We investigate hate crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction, assist state and local authorities during their own investigations, and in some cases—with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division—monitor developing situations to determine if federal action is appropriate.
In addition to responding to hate crimes, we’re also taking a proactive approach to hate crimes overall. We’re integrating a cadre of analysts with our experienced investigators to not only establish a national threat picture but to identify risk factors that can be used by FBI field offices to assess the potential for hate crimes at the local level.
Increasing Hate Crime Awareness
Most of all, we’re working to increase awareness of these crimes by establishing liaisons with civic and religious leaders and credible community organizations. Through our UCR program, we offer training to help law enforcement recognize hate crimes and also assist our partners in developing their own hate crimes training programs.