The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday released its annual Hate Crimes Statistics report, 2019, which says that last year more than 7,000 criminal incidents and over 8,500 related offences were motivated by bias towards race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender and gender identity. Hate crime incidents recorded in 2019 are the highest recorded in more than a decade, according to the report.
The report is compiled by the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) programme, which relied on 2019 data provided by over 15,500 law enforcement agencies across the US on offences, victims, offenders and locations of hate crimes.
What are hate crimes?
The FBI defines a hate crime as a “a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias”. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI defines 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, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity”.
Significantly, the FBI has said that “hate itself” is not a crime and that it is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram
So, what does the report say?
As per the report, in 2019 there were over 7,100 single-bias incidents involving more than 8,500 victims. Further, a breakdown of victims by types of bias shows that 57.6 per cent of the victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, over 20 per cent were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias, over 16 per cent were targeted because of the offenders’ sexual-orientation bias, 2.7 per cent were targeted because of the offenders’ gender-identity bias, two per cent were targeted because of disability bias and 0.9 per cent were victimised because of gender bias. Other than this, there were 211 multiple-bias hate crime incidents that involved 260 victims.
Significantly, of the known offenders of these hate crimes, over 52 per cent were white, more than 23 per cent were Black or African American.
In 2019, over 24.6 per cent of the hate crime incidents occurred in or near residences or homes and more than 18 per cent occurred on highways, roads, alleys, streets and sidewalks. A little less than 10 per cent of the incidents occurred at schools or colleges. For over 11 per cent of the hate crime incidents, the location was unknown.
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