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Anti-Semitism in the United States:
FBI Hate Crime Statistics 2009


Anti-Semitism in the U.S.: Table of Contents | 2012 Audit | FBI Statistics


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Background

Congress mandates the collection of hate crime data

On April 23, 1990, Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act, which required the Attorney General to collect data “about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” The Attorney General delegated the responsibilities of developing the procedures for implementing, collecting, and managing hate crime data to the Director of the FBI, who in turn, assigned the tasks to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Under the direction of the Attorney General and with the cooperation and assistance of many local and state law enforcement agencies, the UCR Program created a hate crime data collection to comply with the congressional mandate.

The first hate crime publications

The UCR Program’s first publication on the subject was Hate Crime Statistics, 1990: A Resource Book, which was a compilation of hate crime data reported by 11 states that had collected the information under state authority in 1990 and were willing to offer their data as a prototype. The UCR Program continued to work with agencies familiar with investigating hate crimes and collecting related information so that it could develop and implement a more uniform method of data collection on a nationwide scale. Hate Crime Statistics, 1992, presented the first published data reported by law enforcement agencies across the country that participated in the UCR Hate Crime Statistics Program.

Subsequent changes to hate crime data collection

    • In September 1994, lawmakers amended the Hate Crime Statistics Act to include bias against persons with disabilities by passing the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The FBI started gathering data for the additional bias type on January 1, 1997.
    • The Church Arson Prevention Act, which was signed into law in July 1996, removed the sunset clause from the original statute and mandated that the collection of hate crime data become a permanent part of the UCR Program.
    • In 2009, Congress further amended the Hate Crime Statistics Act by passing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act. The amendment includes the collection of data for crimes motivated by bias against a particular gender and gender identity, as well as for crimes committed by, and crimes directed against, juveniles. The FBI is currently making plans to implement changes to collect these data.

- Collection Design
- Data Provided
- Participation
- Incidents & Offenses
- Victims
- Offenders
- Tables

Collection design

The designers of the Hate Crime Statistics Program sought to capture information about the types of bias that motivate crimes, the nature of the offenses, and some information about the victims and offenders. In creating the program, the designers recognized that hate crimes are not separate, distinct crimes; instead, they are traditional offenses motivated by the offender’s bias (for example, an offender assaults a victim because of a bias against the victim’s race). After much consideration, the developers agreed that hate crime data could be derived by capturing the additional element of bias in those offenses already being reported to the UCR Program. Attaching the collection of hate crime statistics to the established UCR data collection procedures, they concluded, would fulfill the directives of the Hate Crime Statistics Act without placing an undue additional reporting burden on law enforcement and, in time, would develop a substantial body of data about the nature and frequency of bias crimes occurring throughout the Nation.

Data provided

The hate crime data in this Web publication comprise a subset of information that law enforcement agencies submit to the UCR Program. The types of hate crimes reported to the program (i.e., the biases that motivated the crimes) are further broken down into more specific categories. As collected for each hate crime incident, the aggregate data in this report include the following: offense type, location, bias motivation, victim type, number of individual victims, number of offenders, and the race of the offenders.

    • Incidents and offenses—Crimes reported to the FBI involve those motivated by biases based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, and disability. Plans are underway to also allow the reporting of crimes motivated by biases based on gender and gender identity, as well as crimes committed by, and crimes directed against, juveniles.
    • Victims—The victim of a hate crime may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole.
    • Offenders—Law enforcement specifies the number of offenders and, when possible, the race of the offender or offenders as a group.
    • Location type—Currently, law enforcement may specify one of 25 location designations, e.g., residences or homes, schools or colleges, and parking lots or garages. Plans are underway to allow the reporting of several additional location designations.
    • Hate crime by jurisdiction—Includes data about hate crimes by state and agency.

Participation

Law enforcement’s support

Law enforcement’s support and participation have been the most vital factors in moving the hate crime data collection effort from concept to reality. The International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the former UCR Data Providers’ Advisory Policy Board (which is now part of the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board), the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, and the Association of State UCR Programs all have endorsed the UCR Program’s Hate Crime Statistics Program. In addition to this support, thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide make crucial contributions to the program’s success as the officers within these agencies investigate offenses and report as known hate crimes those they determine were motivated by biases.

Agencies contributing data

Agencies that participated in the Hate Crime Statistics Program in 2009 represented nearly 279 million inhabitants, or 90.9 percent of the Nation’s population, and their jurisdictions covered 49 states and the District of Columbia.

Incidents & Offenses

For each hate crime offense type reported, law enforcement must indicate at least one bias motivation. A single-bias incident is defined as an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by the same bias. A multiple-bias incident is defined as an incident in which more than one offense type occurs and at least two offense types are motivated by different biases.

    • In 2009, 2,034 law enforcement agencies reported 6,604 hate crime incidents involving 7,789 offenses.
    • There were 6,598 single-bias incidents that involved 7,775 offenses, 8,322 victims, and 6,219 offenders.
    • The 6 multiple-bias incidents reported in 2009 involved 14 offenses, 14 victims, and 6 offenders.

Single-bias incidents

An analysis of the 6,598 single-bias incidents reported in 2009 showed the following:

    • 48.5 percent were motivated by racial bias.
    • 19.7 percent resulted from religious bias.
    • 18.5 percent were linked to sexual-orientation bias.
    • 11.8 percent stemmed from ethnicity/national origin bias.
    • 1.5 percent involved disability bias.

Offenses by bias motivation within incidents

Of the 7,775 single-bias hate crime offenses reported in the above incidents:

    • 49.1 percent stemmed from racial bias.
    • 18.5 percent were motivated by sexual-orientation bias.
    • 17.7 percent resulted from religious bias.
    • 13.5 percent were prompted by ethnicity/national origin bias.
    • 1.2 percent were from biases against disabilities.

Racial bias

In 2009, law enforcement agencies reported that 3,816 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated. Of these offenses:

    • 71.4 percent were motivated by anti-black bias.
    • 17.1 percent resulted from anti-white bias.
    • 5.5 percent occurred because of biases against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race (anti-multiple races, group).
    • 3.9 percent resulted from anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
    • 2.2 percent were motivated by anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias.

Religious bias

Law enforcement agencies reported 1,376 hate crimes motivated by religious bias. A breakdown of biases for these offenses showed:

    • 70.1 percent were anti-Jewish.
    • 9.3 percent were anti-Islamic.
    • 8.6 percent were anti-other religion.
    • 4.4 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
    • 4.0 percent were anti-Catholic.
    • 2.9 percent were anti-Protestant.
    • 0.7 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc.

Sexual-orientation bias

Law enforcement agencies reported 1,436 hate crime offenses based on sexual-orientation bias. Of these offenses:

    • 55.6 percent were motivated by anti-male homosexual bias.
    • 26.2 percent resulted from anti-homosexual bias.
    • 15.0 percent were prompted by anti-female homosexual bias.
    • 1.7 percent were classified as anti-bisexual bias.
    • 1.5 percent were the result of anti-heterosexual bias.

Ethnicity/national origin bias

In 2009, law enforcement reported 1,050 offenses were committed based on the perceived ethnicity or national origin of the victim. Of these offenses:

    • 62.3 percent were motivated by anti-Hispanic bias.
    • 37.7 percent resulted from anti-other ethnicity/national origin bias.

Disability bias

There were 97 reported hate crime offenses committed based on disability bias. Of these:

    • 72 offenses were prompted by anti-mental disability bias.
    • 25 offenses were the result of anti-physical disability bias.

By offense type

Of the 7,789 reported hate crime offenses in 2009:

    • 31.6 percent were destruction/damage/vandalism.
    • 27.7 percent were intimidation.
    • 21.7 percent were simple assault.
    • 11.7 percent were aggravated assault.
    • 7.2 percent were comprised of additional crimes against persons, property, and society.

Offenses by crime category

Of the 7,789 hate crime offenses reported:

    • 61.5 percent were crimes against persons.
    • 38.1 percent were crimes against property.
    • The remainder were crimes against society.

Crimes against persons

Law enforcement reported 4,793 hate crime offenses as crimes against persons. By offense type:

    • 45.0 percent were intimidation.
    • 35.3 percent were simple assault.
    • 19.1 percent were aggravated assault.
    • 0.4 percent were the violent crimes of murder (8 offenses) and forcible rape (9 offenses).
    • 0.3 percent involved the offense category other, which is collected only in the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

Crimes against property

    • Of the 2,970 hate crime offenses that were crimes against property, 83.0 percent were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism.
    • The remaining 17.0 percent of crimes against property consisted of robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other crimes.

Crimes against society

There were 26 offenses defined as crimes against society (e.g., drug or narcotic offenses or prostitution).

By victim type

When considering the type of victims among property crimes:

    • 48.5 percent were committed against individuals.
    • 11.5 percent were directed at businesses or financial institutions.
    • 9.8 percent were against government.
    • 8.0 percent were aimed at religious organizations.
    • The remaining 22.2 percent were directed at other, multiple, or unknown victim types.

Victims

In the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the victim of a hate crime may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole.  In 2009, the Nation’s law enforcement agencies reported that there were 8,336 victims of hate crimes.  Of these victims, 14 were victimized in 6 separate multiple-bias incidents.

Offenders

Law enforcement agencies reporting hate crime data to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program identified 6,225 known offenders in 6,604 bias-motivated incidents in 2009.  In the UCR Program, the term known offender does not imply that the suspect’s identity is known; rather, the term indicates that some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender.  Law enforcement agencies specify the number of offenders and, when possible, the race of the offender or offenders as a group.

 

Tables

Incidents, Offenses, Victims, and Known Offenders by Bias Motivation, 2009

Bias motivation Incidents Offenses Victims1 Known offenders2
Total
6,604
7,789
8,336
6,225
Single-Bias Incidents
6,598
7,775
8,322
6,219
Race:
3,199
3,816
4,057
3,241
  Anti-White
545
652
668
753
  Anti-Black
2,284
2,724
2,902
2,160
  Anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native
65
84
87
88
  Anti-Asian/Pacific Islander
126
147
149
108
  Anti-Multiple Races, Group
179
209
251
132
Religion:
1,303
1,376
1,575
586
  Anti-Jewish
931
964
1,132
353
  Anti-Catholic
51
55
59
25
  Anti-Protestant
38
40
42
17
  Anti-Islamic
107
128
132
95
  Anti-Other Religion
109
119
131
51
  Anti-Multiple Religions, Group
57
60
68
38
  Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc.
10
10
11
7
Sexual Orientation:
1,223
1,436
1,482
1,394
  Anti-Male Homosexual
682
798
817
817
  Anti-Female Homosexual
185
216
227
197
  Anti-Homosexual
312
376
391
349
  Anti-Heterosexual
21
21
21
14
  Anti-Bisexual
23
25
26
17
Ethnicity/National Origin:
777
1,050
1,109
934
  Anti-Hispanic
483
654
692
649
  Anti-Other Ethnicity/National Origin
294
396
417
285
Disability:
96
97
99
64
  Anti-Physical
25
25
25
25
  Anti-Mental
71
72
74
39
Multiple-Bias Incidents3
6
14
14
6

1The term victim may refer to a person, business, institution, or society as a whole.
2The term known offender does not imply that the identity of the suspect is known, but only that an attribute of the suspect has been identified, which distinguishes him/her from an unknown offender.
3In a multiple-bias incident, two conditions must be met: (a) more than one offense type must occur in the incident and (b) at least two offense types must be motivated by different biases.

Incidents, Offenses, Victims, and Known Offenders by Offense Type, 2009

Offense type Incidents1 Offenses Victims2 Known offenders3
Total
6,604
7,789
8,336
6,225
Crimes against persons:
3,875
4,793
4,793
5,136
  Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter
8
8
8
47
  Forcible rape
9
9
9
16
  Aggravated assault
699
914
914
1,208
  Simple assault
1,446
1,691
1,691
2,072
  Intimidation
1,700
2,158
2,158
1,778
  Other4
13
13
13
15
Crimes against property:
2,970
2,970
3,517
1,453
  Robbery
124
124
142
293
  Burglary
137
137
157
78
  Larceny-theft
163
163
174
126
  Motor vehicle theft
11
11
11
7
  Arson
41
41
61
22
  Destruction/damage/vandalism
2,465
2,465
2,943
898
  Other4
29
29
29
29
Crimes against society4
26
26
26
34

1 The actual number of incidents is 6,604. However, the column figures will not add to the total because incidents may include more than one offense type, and these are counted in each appropriate offense type category.
2 The term victim may refer to a person, business, institution, or society as a whole.
3 The term known offender does not imply that the identity of the suspect is known, but only that an attribute of the suspect has been identified, which distinguishes him/her from an unknown offender. The actual number of known offenders is 6,225. However, the column figures will not add to the total because some offenders are responsible for more than one offense type, and they are, therefore, counted more than once in this table.
4 Includes additional offenses collected in the National Incident-Based Reporting System.


Source: FBI

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