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Inside a National Scourge


Last month, two men were sentenced to life in prison for murdering a Kansas City, Missouri man in cold blood because of the color of his skin.

It happened in March 2005, when the pair drove past an African-American walking to work and fired shots at him. They missed, so they drove around the block, caught up with him again, and fired a second time. This time, the man was struck in the chest and killed.

It was a hate crime, pure and simple—a traditional crime (in this case, murder) motivated by bias. Hate crimes like these are a sad reality for our country, and each year, the FBI crunches a lot of numbers to get our arms around these crimes as relayed to us by thousands of our law enforcement partners nationwide. Our hope is that by publishing the who, what, when, and where of these statistics for law enforcement, communities, criminologists, civic groups, government leaders, academics, and the media, we as a nation can better understand this scourge and develop preventative strategies and training courses to address it.

This year’s report—Hate Crime Statistics 2007, now posted online—continues that mission. Overall, 7,624 hate crime incidents involving 9,006 offenses were reported to us—incidents that involved bias towards a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or disability. The report goes into a great deal of interesting detail, but here’s a breakdown of some key numbers:


  • 52 percent were targeted because of their race
  • 17.1 percent were targeted because of their religious belief
  • 15.9 were targeted because of their sexual orientation
  • 14.1 were targeted because of their ethnicity/nation origin


  • Of crimes against persons, nine people were murdered and two were raped
  • Intimidation accounted for 47.4 percent of crimes against persons
  • Simple assaults accounted for 31.1 percent
  • Aggravated assaults accounted for 20.6 percent


  • 62.9 percent were white
  • 20.8 percent were black
  • 9.8 percent were of an unknown race

Crime Locations

  • 30.5 percent of crimes took place in or near homes
  • 18.9 percent occurred on highways, roads, alleys, or streets
  • 11.3 percent happened at schools or colleges
  • 6.0 percent in parking lots or garages
  • 4.1 percent in churches, synagogues, or temples

We play a role, too, in investigating hate crimes. Our jurisdiction comes primarily from four federal statutes related to civil rights conspiracies, federally-protected activities, religious freedom, and fair housing. But we frequently work with our state and local partnersas we did with the Kansas City police in the brutal murder case mentioned above. We also backstop state and local investigations when appropriate or sometimes conduct a federal investigation concurrently. 

For more information on hate crimes and our longstanding work to combat them, see our Hate Crimes webpage.

Hate Crime Statistics 2007
- National Press Release
More UCR Crime Statistics
- Criminal Justice Information Services website

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