A new report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows a rise in some types of hate crimes committed against the LGBTQ+ community. The FBI released the Hate Crime Statistics, 2019, the latest compilation of statistics from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR). The data includes information about the crimes, offenders, victims, and the location and types of bias-motivated offenses. According to the statistics released Monday, LGBTQ+ people account for nearly 1 out of every 5 of all reported incidents, but the situation is likely worse because state and local law enforcement agencies are not required to define, track, or report hate crimes.
“Yet another year with alarming levels of bias-motivated crimes underscores just how urgent it is to address this hate crimes epidemic,” Alphonso David, the president of Human Rights Campaign, said, going on to say the statistics represent “real trauma for individuals and families across this country who have to bear the brunt of these hate crimes.”
According to the report, 16.7 percent of reported hate crimes were the result of the offender’s bias against the victim’s sexual orientation. An additional 2.7 percent were targeted because of gender identity bias, a half-percentage point increase over the FBI’s 2018 statistics.
While the nature and number of crimes reported are disturbing enough, the report is admittedly incomplete as there currently exists no nationwide mandatory reporting for hate crimes. In fact, HRW reports the total number of law enforcement agencies tracking and reporting statistics fell by 451 in 2019, and there were 71 cities with populations of over 100,000 that reported no hate crimes during the period in question, a statistical improbability.
The most common form of bias motivated hate crime was based on the offender’s race, ethnicity, or ancestry, accounting for 57.6 percent of all reported crimes. An additional 20.1 percent were targeted due to the perpetrator’s religious bias. Sexual-orientation bias placed as the third most common motivating bias.
David issued a challenge to the presumptive Biden-Harris administration, calling for a recommitment to protecting the LGBTQ+ community from hate crimes and bias, as well as highlighting the need for better training and mandatory reporting requirements nationwide.
“As the Biden-Harris administration assumes office, we must recommit ourselves to advocating for mandatory hate crimes reporting across the country, better training for law enforcement officers to recognize bias-motivated crimes, and greater inclusion and equity in our communities,” David said.