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Headline Archives

New Stats and a Continuing Mission

Hate Crime graphic
Last Tuesday, a 22-year-old white supremacist named Gabriel Laskey was sentenced for his role in a hateful attack on Temple Beth Israel, a Jewish synagogue in Eugene, Oregon.

A few years earlier, Laskey, his brother Jacob, and two other men had thrown rocks etched with swastikas through the stained glass windows of the temple, right in the middle of religious services. You can just imagine how the peaceful worshippers felt. 

It’s just one recent example of a hate crime—traditional offenses like vandalism, arson, or even murder motivated by various forms of prejudice that not only impact individuals and families but often escalate fear and tension across communities. 

We’ve been investigating such crimes of bias as far back as the 1920s, often as a backstop to state and local authorities, as part of our mission to help protect civil rights. And we’ve been keeping statistics on what are now called hate crimes—as required by law—since 1991.

Today, we’re releasing the latest suite of hate crime numbers that we’ve collected in concert with our law enforcement partners. It’s one third of our trilogy of annual crime statistics, along with Crime in the U.S. and Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted.

Here’s an overview of the findings…and you can delve into the full report for many more details:

  • Incidents and Offenses:  A total of 7,722 incidents and 9,080 offenses were reported by participating agencies in 2006.
  • Offense Type:  Nationwide, 5,449 offenses were classified as crimes against persons, with intimidation (46 percent) and simple assaults (31.9 percent) accounting for most crimes. There were three murders during the year. Of the 3,593 crimes against property, the overwhelming majority (81 percent) were acts of vandalism or destruction. 
  • Offenders:  Of the 7,330 known offenders, 58.6 percent were white and 20.6 percent were black. 
  • Victims:  A total of 9,652 victims were identified. More than half—52.0 percent—were targeted because of their race. 
  • Locations:  Most incidents, 31 percent, took place near or at homes and residences. Another 18 percent occurred on highways or streets. For a general breakdown of offenses by state, see Table 11.

A chart listing total hate crime incidents from 1998 to 2007. Note:  Because agency participation levels vary each year and for other reasons, the FBI does not recommend comparing hate crime statistics from year to year.

Note: Because agency participation levels vary each year and for other reasons, the FBI does not recommend comparing hate crime statistics from year to year.

Whether it’s cross burnings or noose incidents, we continue to take all hate crimes seriously. Please contact your local field office if you believe you have witnessed or been victimized by a hate crime. 

And for more details on how we combat crimes of bias—and links to all hate crime reports since 1995—please see our Hate Crime webpage.

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