Across the United States in 2007 and 2008, people motivated by prejudice acted violently to hurt individuals, to damage homes and personal property, and to attack places of worship, cemeteries, community centers, and schools.
In the latest report on hate crime in 2006, the FBI identified 7,722 incidents—a 7.8 percent rise from the documented 7,163 crimes in 2005.There was a 9.5 percent rise in hate crime victims, from 8,804 in 2005 to 9,642 in 2006. These incidents were reported by 2,105 police agencies across the country, out of 17,500 agencies participating in the UCR program.
The 2006 report found that 56 percent of hate crime victims—5,449 people—were “victims of hate crimes against persons,” in contrast to 59 percent in 2005 (5,190 people)—indicating no major change in the levels of personal violence reported. In 2006, much in keeping with past years, 43.2 percent were victimized by crimes against property; 81 percent of the latter were “acts of damage/destruction/vandalism.”
Of the 7,722 single-bias incidents reported to the FBI in 2006, 51.8 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 18.9 percent by a religious bias, 15.5 percent by a sexual orientation bias, 12.7 percent by an ethnicity/national origin bias, and 1 percent by a bias against disability.
According to the state of California’s annual hate crime report for 2007, hate crime incidents rose 9.2 percent, from 1,306 in 2006 to 1,426 in 2007. The 1,426 incidents represented 1,931 offenses, with violent crimes increasing by 19.9 percent from 1,044 in 2006 to 1,252 in 2007. There were 679 property crimes in 2007. The report also provides data on hate crime incidents referred to prosecutors (443), and the outcome of these referrals—including criminal cases filed, cases filed as hate crimes, and the progress and outcome of hate crime cases.
The largest number of bias incidents was under the category “anti- race/ethnicity/national origin,” with 932 incidents or 65.4 percent of the total. Within this category there were 498 incidents of “antiblack” bias and 160 of “anti-Hispanic” bias. Antiblack hate crimes continued to be the largest category by bias motivation, accounting for at least 26 percent of all hate crime offenses annually since 1998, and over 30 percent in 2007. Antiblack hate crime offenses rose 15.6 percent, from 588 in 2006 to 680 in 2007. Anti-Hispanic offenses increased over 7 percent, from 218 in 2006 to 234.
The second largest number of incidents and offenses was motivated by sexual orientation bias, with a rise to 263 incidents, or 18.4 percent of the total. This represented an increase of 6.9 percent, from 246 in 2006 to 263 in 2007. Religious bias accounted for 203 incidents, or 14.2 percent of the total, of which 134 (66 percent) were anti-Jewish, 13 (6.4 percent) anti-Islamic, and 11 (5.4 percent) anti-Protestant. The data also covered 25 incidents of gender-bias crimes, of which 23 were motivated by antitransgender bias. There were 3 antidisability bias incidents recorded.