Hate Crimes Decrease in DC, but Race-Based Incidents Rise

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 01:34 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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The total number of hate crimes in the District of Columbia declined in 2013 while those based solely on race rose by nearly 40 percent, according to an annual report from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Overall, reporting of bias-related crimes decreased slightly in 2013, from 81 crimes to 70, a decline the MPD attributes to a 53 percent decrease in robberies.

However, the report found that those crimes motivated by solely religious grounds increased by five, and those based solely on race went up from 13 in 2012 to 18 in 2013, the report says.

The figures may not represent the actual number of bias-related crime if victims, particularly minorities, are reluctant to file incident reports with the police department.

"In many African-American communities and other parts of the country, no matter what the demographics of the police department are, there are levels of concern [about filing reports]," David C. Friedman, director of the D.C. regional office of the Anti-Defamation League told The Washington Times.

Of the 18 victims of race-motivated hate crimes last year, 10 were white, four were black, two Hispanic, one Asian and one of another race.

Of the hate crimes committed in 2013, 44 percent were simple assaults, followed by aggravated assaults and threats (17 percent for each), and 11 percent were defacing or destruction of property, the MPD report says.

Bias-related crimes related to sexual orientation has remained the most frequent type of crime, accounting for 44 percent of all hate crimes in 2013. Together, three out of every five bias-related crimes are based on sexual orientation.

Nationally, the estimated number of hate crimes in 2012 has remained statistically similar to numbers reported in 2004, according to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

In February, the bureau issued data which found an estimated 293,800 nonfatal violent and property hate crime victimizations occurred in the United States in 2012, compared with 281,700 in 2004.


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