ILNews

FBI releases hate crime stats

Rebecca Berfanger
November 23, 2009
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More than 9,000 offenses in the U.S. in 2008 motivated by bias to particular groups of people were reported to the FBI in 2008, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program that publishes those statistics, the FBI announced today.

The agency reports on hate crimes that are defined as offenses that are "a result of bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or disability."

The numbers are self-reported to the FBI by local law enforcement agencies. In Indiana, 131 agencies can participate in reporting hate crimes, there are approximately 3 million people represented by those agencies, and 61 hate crimes were reported by 17 participating agencies in 2008.

The full report is available at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2008/.

Because the data is self-reported and it is up to the discretion of each agency to define what it considers to be a hate crime, the numbers cannot be accurately compared with other states or even other jurisdictions within a state, according to the FBI's report.

For instance, Bloomington reported 29 hate crimes and Indianapolis reported zero.

As for the national statistics, "7,783 criminal incidents involving 9,168 offenses were reported in 2008 as a result of bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or disability," according to the report.

Through analysis of available national figures, "51.3 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 19.5 percent were motivated by a religious bias, 16.7 percent were motivated by a sexual orientation bias, and 11.5 percent were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. One percent involved a bias against a disability," the report stated.

Of the offenses committed against individuals, "intimidation accounted for 48.8 percent of crimes against persons, simple assaults for 32.1 percent, and aggravated assaults for 18.5 percent. Seven murders were reported as hate crimes," according to the report.

Indiana remains one of a handful of states in the country that does not have a state law regarding hate crimes. However, President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act Oct. 28 to expand hate crimes legislation for the first time since the mid-1990s.

The act gives the Department of Justice "the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence by providing the DOJ with jurisdiction over crimes of violence where a perpetrator has selected a victim because of the person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability," according to a release from the Human Rights Campaign, which advocated for the act to be signed.

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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