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FBI Reports Hate Crimes

Updated on November 29, 2009

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has released its 2008 Hate Crime Statistics.

Congress has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation."  A traditional crime must be committed along with the element deemed hate-related before charges can be brought against the perpetrator.

The agency reports there were 7,783 reported hate-related incidents in 2008.

  • 51.3 percent were racially motivated
  • 19.5 percent were motivated by religious bias
  • 16.7 percent stemmed from sexual-orientation bias
  • 11.5 percent resulted from ethnicity/national origin bias
  • 1.0 percent were motivated by disability bias

Law enforcement agencies reported that 4,704 offenses among single-bias hate crime incidents were racially motivated. Of these offenses 72.6% percent were motivated by anti-black bias and 17.3% were anti-white.

Sexual-orientation bias was the blame for 1,617 offenses. Anti-male homosexual sentiment accounted for 58.6% of the incidents and general (not gender specific) anti homosexual bias accounted for another 25.7%.

Religion is always a contentious issue at this time of year. Based on the statistics, however, it seems to be prevalent throughout the year.

A surprising 1,606 hate crime offenses motivated by religious bias occurred in 2008. The incidents involving anti-Jewish bias made up 65.7%. Other religions specifically mentioned were anti-Islamic (7.7%), anti-Catholic (4.7%), anti-Protestant (3.7%) and anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc. (0.9%).

There were 1,148 incidents reported which were based on perceived ethnicity. Sixty-four percent were due to anti-Hispanic bias with another 36.0 due to bias of anti-other ethnicity/national origin.

The haters of the mentally disabled (57%) and the physical disabled (28%) led to another 85 reported offenses.

For complete statistics, including jurisdictions, location types, offenders, victims and incidents/offenses, visit the FBI site on Hate Crime Statistics.



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