The FBI on Oct. 25 released updated data for its 2020 annual hate crimes statistics report originally released in August that shows an increase in overall hate crimes for 2020 but no significant change in the number of hate crimes targeting LGBTQ people.
The first version of the report, which the FBI says lacked data it later obtained from Ohio, shows the percentage of hate crimes nationwide targeting victims because of their sexual orientation to be 20.5 percent. The revised report shows that number to be 20.0 percent.
The earlier version of the report showed the percentage of hate crimes targeting a victim because of their gender identity to be 2.5 percent and the revised report shows gender identity victims to be 2.7 percent of the total number of hate crime victims.
However, the revised 2020 report shows that the 20 percent figure for sexual orientation related hate crimes represents an increase from 16.8 percent of sexual orientation related hate crimes reported in 2019. The revised report also shows that the 2.7 percent figure for gender identity related hate crimes, which the FBI says involves transgender and gender nonconforming people, represents a decline from the 4.8 percent gender identity related hate crimes reported in 2019.
Like recent past years, the largest percentage of hate crimes reported by law enforcement agencies from across the country to the FBI in 2020 as shown in the FBI’s updated report – 61.9 percent – falls into the category of race/ethnicity/ancestry bias. The earlier version of the report placed that category at 61.8.
The percentage of other categories of victims reported in the FBI’s revised 2020 report include 13.3 percent of bias related crimes targeting a victim for their religion; 1.4 percent for their disability; and 0.7 percent for their gender. There were no significant changes in these categories from the earlier version of the 2020 report.
LGBTQ rights advocates have joined representatives of civil rights groups in expressing concern that the FBI’s annual hate crime report reflects a large undercounting of the actual number of hate crimes nationwide. Observers familiar with the reporting say the underreporting stems from the substantial number of local law enforcement agencies that do not submit hate crime data to the FBI. The Washington Post reported in August that 422 fewer law enforcement agencies submitted hate crime data to the FBI in 2020 than those submitting data in 2019.
The revised FBI report says law enforcement agencies in 2020 submitted incident reports involving a total of 8,263 criminal incidents and 11,129 related incidents as being motivated by bias. The report says the data show there were a total of 8,052 single-bias incidents involving 11,126 victims.
This marks an increase from the earlier report, before the Ohio data was included, from 7,759 criminal incidents and 10,532 related incidents in 2020. The earlier report showed there were 7,554 single-bias incidents involving 10,528 victims.
A separate compilation of reported hate crimes for D.C. in 2020 published on the U.S. Department of Justice website, based on FBI data obtained from D.C. police, shows the total number of reported hate crimes in D.C. declined from 222 in 2019 to 133 in 2020. The data show a decline in the number of sexual orientation related hate crimes and a slight increase in gender identity related bias crimes in D.C.
The DOJ report compares the 2019 and 2020 hate crimes data for D.C. by category of victim using the number of incidents rather than by percentage. The data show the following breakdown:
• Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry—2019: 119; 2020: 63
• Sexual Orientation—2019: 65; 2020: 41
• Gender Identity—2019: 27; 2020: 28
• Religion—2019: 8; 2020: 1
• Gender—2019: 2; 2020: 0
• Disability—2019: 1; 2020: 0
The drop in 2020 reported hate crimes in D.C. targeting victims for their race and ethnicity appears to go against the nationwide reports by community activists of a spike in race and ethnicity related hate crime targeting African Americans and Asian Americans. Asian American groups have reported an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes based on the bogus notion that Asians are responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic because it may have started in China.
Among the anti-Asian incidents reported in D.C. this year was an attack by a D.C. man against a gay Asian man and his parents in August. The man, who was arrested by D.C. police, shouted anti-gay and anti-Asian insults at the three victims while assaulting them, according to a D.C. police report.
Hate crimes data posted on the D.C. police website for the period of Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, 2021, show a total of 119 reported hate crimes for that period. The data show 29 of the incidents were based on the victim’s sexual orientation and eight were based on the victim’s gender identity or expression. Forty-six were listed as being based on the victim’s ethnicity/national origin and 33 were said to be based on the victim’s race.
In a list of categories that differs from the FBI’s hate crime categories, the D.C. police website listing of 2021 hate crime incidents reports no hate crime incidents based on a victim’s status of being homeless or their political affiliation. It reports one incident based on the victim’s gender/sex and no incidents based on a victim’s disability.