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How D.C. hate crimes compare to the nation's

November 22, 2010 - 12:02 PM
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Hate crimes by the numbers (Photo: Associated Press)

Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released its annual report on bias-motivated crimes committed in the United States. Nationally, hate crimes are on the decline: In 2009, law enforcement agencies across the country reported 6,604 hate crimes to the FBI; in 2008, that number was 7,783. The hate crime count decreased even as the number of local agencies reporting to the FBI spiked, but the national picture is still far from complete—many jurisdictions still don't contribute their own stats to the feds.

Two agencies in the District of Columbia—the Metropolitan Police Department and Metro Transit Police—do submit hate crime data to the FBI. Though D.C. recorded a similar decrease in bias-motivated incidents last year, crimes based on the victim's sexual orientation remained high.

The District of Columbia is the rare jurisdiction where crimes based on sexual orientation dominate hate crime stats. According to the report, almost half of the nation's hate crimes—48.8 percent—are committed based on the victim's race. But in D.C., as many as 85 percent of hate crimes reported to federal law enforcement are based on the victim's sexual orientation.

In 2008, the District reported 30 offenses based on sexual orientation, eight based on race, three based on ethnicity, one based on religion, and zero based on disability. Last year, D.C. again reported 30 based on sexual orientation, but noted a decline in other kinds of hate crimes—2009 recorded three incidents based on race, two based on ethnicity, and zero based on religion or disability. (These figures differ a bit from the District's internal reporting [PDF]).

Nationally, the FBI recorded 1,223 hate crimes based on the victim's sexual orientation, a slight decrease from  the 1,297 reported in 2008. Across the United States, sexual orientation bias is only the third most prevalent motive in hate crimes reported to the FBI: 48.8 percent of hate crime victims are targeted based on race, 18.9 percent are targeted for religious belief, 17.8 percent are targeted based on sexual orientation. 13.3 percent are targeted based on ethnicity, and 1.2 percent are targeted based on disability.

The racial dynamics of District hate crimes differ substantially from the national picture. Of national race-based attacks (about half of all hate crimes in the U.S.), 71.5 percent of victims are targeted for being black; 16.5 percent are targeted for being white. Nationally, 62.4 percent of perpetrators of all hate crimes are white; only 18.5 percent of perpetrators are black.

In D.C., though only about 12 percent of hate crime victims were targeted based on either race or ethnicity in 2009. That's not to say that the District is lacking in race issues: While the FBI doesn't release figures on the race of victims and perpetrators on the state level, District hate crimes based on sexual orientation that are reported by local police most often involve black suspects; the race of the victims in these cases varies.

The FBI's national hate crime statistics do not include attacks on one significant group of victims. While the FBI does not release figures based on gender identity, the District of Columbia does. And despite their low representation across the general population, transgender people comprised about 12 percent of hate crime victims in D.C. last year.

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  1. noodlez noodlez

    noodlez . . .

    Nov 22, 2010 - 04:54:36 PM

    "The District of Columbia is the rare jurisdiction where crimes based on sexual orientation dominate hate crime stats. According to the report, almost half of the nation's hate crimes—48.8 percent—are committed based on the victim's race. But in D.C., as many as 85 percent of hate crimes reported to federal law enforcement are based on the victim's sexual orientation."--THIS IS SOME BULL! EVERYTIME A MALE HOMOSEXUAL HERE IN THE CITY GETS BEAT UP THEY IMMEDIATELY CRY "HATE CRIME" SO THE STATS WILL BE INFLATED TO JUSTIFY THE PROTECTIONS THEY ARE INCREASINGLY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF. LIKE WHEN SOMEONE OPPOSES THEIR VIEWS AND/OR LIFESTYLE THEY IMMEDIATELY CALL THEM A HOMOPHOBE(WHICH IS A MISNOMER BY THE WAY) IT'S A CATCH ALL FOR THEM. THAT 30 PER YEAR IS PROBABLY MORE LIKE 15 THE OTHER 15 IS PROPAGANDA BASED ON THEM THANGS MORE THAN LIKELY VENTURING OUTSIDE THEIR GREEN ZONE.

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    • noodlez noodlez

      noodlez . . .

      Nov 25, 2010 - 09:12:07 AM

      TJ T-YOU ARE THE EPITOME OF A HOMOSEXUAL WHO WILL CAUSE YOUR FELLOW HOMOSEXUAL BRETHRIN TO HATE YOU!  I DONT FEAR HOMOSEXAULS I JUST DISAGREE WITH THEIR OUTLANDISH BEHAVIOR AS IT APPLIES TO THANGS LIKE YOU. YOUR BASELESS ATTACKS AND BULL**** ASS EXAMPLES WILL CAUSE THE REAL HOMOSEXUALS TO SEPARATE(TEA PARTYESQUE) FROM YOUR TYPE OF GAY. MOST HOMOSEXUALS GET ATTACKED BECAUSE THEY ARE EASY PRAY FOR CRIMINALS BECAUSE HOMOSEXUALITY IS AKIN TO WEAKNESS IN SOME FOLK EYES. WHEN YOU EXHIBIT THAT BEHAVIOR YOU THEN BECOME A TARGET FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. CASE IN POINT PRINCIPAL BETTS. YOU DONT HAVE GUYS PRETENDING THEY ARE GIRLS ONLINE TO PULL A LICK ON SOME UNSUSPECTING STRAIGHT MAN WHO WILL LEAVE HIS DOOR OPEN FOR SOME YOUNG LADY TO LET THEMSELVES IN. YOUR FAKE GAYSELF JUST GAVE INTO SEXUAL URGES, GOT CONFUSED AND RAN AWAY TO GAYDOM INSTEAD OF REALIZING WHO "YOU" REALLY ARE.

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    • TJ TJ

      TJ T

      Nov 23, 2010 - 08:22:44 AM

      @noodlez, I would expect this response from you, but let me ask you:  why is someone who is called a homophobe a misnomer?  Like some dogs, people who are afraid of things will attack what they fear.  And yes, I am comparing people who physically attack anyone from the LGBT community to dogs.  And Patrick, please understand that people are not getting arrested for speaking their minds.  They are getting arrested because they assaulted someone for who they are.  There is a huge difference.

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