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. Oh, the name calling was not name calling, it was merely social commentary making this point, which is on the minds of many, as an aside to the article's focus: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100111082327AAmlmMa Or, if you prefer a local angle, I give you exhibit A in that analysis of viva la difference: http://fox59.com/2015/03/16/moed-appears-on-house-floor-says-hes-not-resigning/

  2. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

  3. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  4. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  5. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

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