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

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. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues