Intimidation…vandalism…assault…rape…murder. These are crimes by anyone’s definition. But add an element of bias against the victims—because of their race or religion, for example—and these traditional crimes become hate crimes.
And based on data from the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics report for 2010, the 6,628 hate crime incidents reported to us by our law enforcement partners stayed consistent with the 6,604 incidents reported in 2009.
Today, we’re releasing on our website the full 2010 report, which contains information about the types of biases that motivate hate crimes, the nature of the offenses, and some information about the victims and offenders. It also breaks down hate crimes by jurisdiction and includes data by state and by agency.
The hate crimes report is fairly reflective of the country—agencies that participated in the Uniform Crime Reporting Hate Crime Statistics Program effort in 2010 represented more than 285 million people, or 92.3 percent of the nation’s population, and their jurisdictions covered 49 states and the District of Columbia. Of the 14,977 agencies that submitted data, 1,949 reported that hate crime incidents had occurred in their jurisdictions.
Here are some of the report’s highlights:
Law enforcement reported 8,208 victims of hate crimes—a “victim” can be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole.
- Of the 6,628 hate crime incidents reported to us for 2010, nearly all (6,624) involved a single bias—47.3 percent of the single-bias incidents were motivated by race; 20 percent by religion; 19.3 by sexual orientation; 12.8 percent by an ethnicity/national origin bias; and 0.6 by physical or mental disability.
- As a result of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crime Prevention Act, the FBI is implementing changes to collect additional data for crimes motivated by a bias against a particular gender or gender identity, as well as for hate crimes committed by or directed against juveniles.
- A reported 4,824 offenses were crimes against persons—intimidation accounted for 46.2 percent of these offenses; simple assault for 34.8 percent; and aggravated assault for 18.4 percent.
- There were 2,861 reported offenses of crimes against property—the majority (81.1 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism.
- Of the 6,008 known offenders, 58.6 were white and 18.4 percent were black.
- 31.4 percent of reported hate crime incidents took place in or near homes.
The FBI takes its role in investigating hate crimes very seriously—it’s the number one priority of our civil rights program. “Almost a fourth of our 2010 civil rights caseload involved crimes motivated by a particular bias against the victim,” said Eric Thomas, our civil rights chief in Washington, D.C., “and we frequently worked these cases with state and local law enforcement to ensure that justice was done—whether at the state level or at the federal level.”
This report, and the FBI’s hate crime data collection effort as a whole, would not have been possible without the support of national and state criminal justice organizations and the thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide whose officers investigate, identify, and report hate crimes to us.