Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Hate Crime Statistics Released for 2006

LGB's continue to take it on the chin. T's, by law, still aren't even counted.

Jim Burroway

November 19th, 2007

The FBI’s latest hate crime statistics are out for 2006. Here’s what it looks like compared to 2005:

  Hate Crime Incidents, 2005 Hate Crime Incidents, 2006
Race 4,691 56% 4,737 52%
Religion 1,314 16% 1,597 18%
Sexual Orientation 1,171 14% 1,415 16%
Ethnicity 1,144 14% 1,233 14%
Disability 53 <1% 94 1%
TOTAL 8,373  100%* 9,076 100%*
Percentages don’t add to
100% due to rounding errors.

Overall, hate crimes in 2006 went up a little more than 8% since 2005. Hate crimes based on religion went up by 283 incidents (an increase of 22% from 2004). Nearly two-thirds of those reports are anti-Jewish. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation experienced the second-largest jump, up by 244 incidents (an increase of 21%).

These FBI statistics rely on the voluntary cooperation of local law enforcement agencies to report hate crimes which occur in their jurisdictions. This reporting is not mandatory, nor is it funded. So not all agencies participate, and those that do often do so inconsistently.

 This year, there were 12,620 law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crimes reporting system, covering 255,086,543 of the U.S. population. That compares to 12,417 agencies in 2004 covering 245,006,413 of the U.S. population. Since that represents only a 4% growth in the population represented by these statistics, the much larger increase in hate crime incidents ought to be seen in a very disturbing light.

One of the things that jumped out at me is that there were no murders recorded for sexual orientation. The other thing that jumped out at me is that there was one anti-black murder, and two anti-white murders. So much for the “special rights” argument against hate crime laws.

But the fact that there were no murders based on sexual orientation meas that Jason Gage wasn’t counted. Neither was Michael Sandy. Maybe in Gage’s case subsequent investigations demonstrated that it wasn’t really a hate crime. (We know that prosecutors in the Sandy Case pressed the case as a hate crime). Or maybe, local police just didn’t bother to do the follow-up investigation required to make such a determination. Or maybe they just didn’t bother to file the reports. We don’t know.

But I’ve noted before that problems like these contribute to a likely significant undercount of total hate crime incidents for all categories. As I report in Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count, it happens all too often.

See also:

Crimes Based on Sexual Orientation Most Violent



November 19th, 2007 | LINK

How many law enforcement agencies are there in total? I also noted that making it a hate crime doesnt seem likes its stopping ppl from doing them.

November 21st, 2007 | LINK

I remember when I was pulling statistics for hate crimes in ’89. I sent in 2 murders from Madison Wisc. I ran into the spokesman for the Task Force hate crimes project later the next year and he asked me if I had documentation for them since there weren’t any reports from law enforcement. I told him I based it on newspaper quotes from the murderer that said he killed them because they were gay.

Yes, they need to do a better job of defining and collecting information. (did he really kill them for being gay or was that just the “defense” position afterwards).

Joel – I don’t think that anyone has suggested that hate crimes are a deterrent. Very often they don’t provide for an additional penalty, they just categorize the crime.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.