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FBI: HATE CRIMES DOWN

WASHINGTON - The FBI has released 2009 statistics which indicated that 6,604 criminal incidents involving 7,789 offenses were reported as a result of bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. Hate Crime Statistics, 2009, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, includes data from hate crime reports submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation.

Hate Crime Statistics, 2009, includes the following information:

Of the 6,598 single-bias incidents, 48.5 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 19.7 percent were motivated by a religious bias, 18.5 percent were motivated by a sexual-orientation bias, and 11.8 percent were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Bias against a disability accounted for 1.5 percent of single-bias incidents.
There were 4,793 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2009. Intimidation accounted for 45.0 percent of crimes against persons, simple assaults for 35.3 percent, and aggravated assaults for 19.1 percent. Other offenses, including nine forcible rapes and eight murders, accounted for the remainder.
There were 2,970 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property; most of these (83.0 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism. The remaining 17.0 percent of crimes against property consisted of robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses.
An analysis of data for single-bias hate crime incident victims revealed that 48.8 percent were targeted because of the offender’s bias against a race, 18.9 percent because of a bias against a religious belief, 17.8 percent because of a sexual orientation bias, 13.3 percent because of an ethnicity/national origin bias, and 1.2 percent because of a disability bias.
Of the 6,225 known offenders, 62.4 percent were white, 18.5 percent were black, 7.3 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (multiple races, group), 1.0 percent were American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 0.7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander. The race was unknown for the remaining known offenders.
The largest percentage (31.3 percent) of hate crime incidents occurred in or near homes. In addition, 17.2 percent took place on highways, roads, alleys, or streets; 11.4 percent happened at schools or colleges; 6.1 percent in parking lots or garages; and 4.3 percent in churches, synagogues, or temples. The remaining 29.7 percent of hate crime incidents took place at other specified locations, multiple locations, or other/unknown locations.

Just in the past month, three men were indicted in New Mexico for assaulting a disabled Navajo man one individual was sentenced for putting a hangman’s noose on the house of a Honduran immigrant in Louisiana; and another man was sentenced for burning a predominately African-American church in Massachusetts.

All three of these incidents were investigated by the FBI as federal hate crimes, the number one priority of our civil rights program. Another FBI priority is the annual collection and public reporting of hate crimes…in order to help the nation get a more accurate accounting of the problem.

Today, we’re releasing here on our website the latest figures on bias-motivated crimes in our Hate Crime Statistics, 2009 report.

While the number of law enforcement agencies submitting data to us increased—topping off at 14,222—the number of hate crime incidents reported for 2009 (6,604) was down from 2008. The number of reported victims (8,336) has also gone down. (“Victims,” in this case, can be individuals, businesses, institutions, and society as a whole.)

 


Some of the general findings include:

Victims

61.1 percent of all hate crimes were committed against persons, while 38.1 percent were crimes against property.
Of the 4,057 victims of racial bias, 71.5 percent were victims because of an offender’s prejudice against blacks.
Of the 1,575 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, 71.9 percent were victims because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
Offenders

Of the 6,225 known offenders, 62.4 percent were white, 18.5 percent were black, and 7.3 percent were groups of individuals of various races. The race was unknown for 10.2 percent of offenders, and other races accounted for the remaining offenders.
Of the 5,136 offenders who carried out crimes against persons, 40.3 percent committed simple assaults, 34.6 percent intimidated their victims, and 23.5 percent committed aggravated assaults. Murders and rapes were committed by 1.2 percent of the offenders.
Crime locations

31.3 percent of hate crime incidents—whether motivated by racial, religious, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or disability bias—happened in or near victims’ homes.
17.2 percent took place on highways, roads, alleys, or streets.

Read the entire report for more details on victims, offenders, and crime locations, as well as state aggregate totals and individual agency breakdowns of bias-motivated crimes submitted to the FBI.

Update on last year’s new hate crime legislation: The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crime Prevention Act adds two new categories to our list of biases—actual or perceived gender and gender identity. Our Uniform Crime Reporting Program staff continues to work toward expanding its training for state and local law enforcement on reporting these new categories of biases, and then on incorporating them into our future publications.

In addition to releasing hate crime statistics yearly, the FBI remains committed to protecting individual civil rights and investigating hate crimes. Special Agent Cynthia Deitle, who heads up our civil rights program in Washington, D.C., says, “During 2010, the FBI devoted additional resources to combat hate crime in those cities most at risk for bias-motivated violence. Working in collaboration with state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as our non-governmental partners, we are confident we can mitigate the risks and impact hate crimes have on individuals and communities.”

 



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