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Offenders

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Law enforcement agencies that reported hate crime data to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program identified 5,493 known offenders in 5,850 bias-motivated incidents in 2015. 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, ethnicity, and age of the offender or offenders as a group.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, 18 U.S.C. §249 required the FBI to collect data concerning hate crimes committed by or directed against juveniles. Beginning in 2013, law enforcement began reporting the number of offenders who are 18 years of age or older and the number of offenders under the age of 18 in addition to reporting the number of individual offenders. Of the 3,331 individuals for which offender age data were reported in 2015, 2,823 hate crime offenders were adults, and 508 hate crime offenders were juveniles.

In 2013, the national UCR Program began collecting revised race and ethnicity data in accordance with a directive from the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget. The race categories were expanded from four (White, Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Asian or Other Pacific Islander) to five (White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander). The ethnicity categories changed from “Hispanic” and “Non-Hispanic” to “Hispanic or Latino” and “Not Hispanic or Latino.” (See the Methodology for more information about this program change as well as others.)

By race, ethnicity, and age (Based on Table 9.)

Race

In 2015, race was reported for 5,493 known hate crime offenders. Of these offenders:

  • 48.4 percent were White.
  • 24.3 percent were Black or African American.
  • 9.1 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (group of multiple races).
  • 1.0 percent (53 offenders) were Asian.
  • 0.9 percent (52 offenders) were American Indian or Alaska Native.
  • 0.1 percent (4 offenders) were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
  • 16.2 percent were unknown.

Ethnicity

The ethnicity was reported for 3,421 known hate crime offenders. Of these:

  • 25.7 percent were in the ethnic category Not Hispanic or Latino.
  • 6.1 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
  • 1.6 percent were groups made up of individuals of various ethnicities (group of multiple ethnicities).
  • 66.6 percent were of unknown ethnicity.

Age

Age was reported for 3,331 known hate crime offenders. Of these:

  • 84.7 percent were age 18 and over.
  • 15.3 percent were under age 18.

By crime category (Based on Table 2.)

Crimes against persons

A total of 4,230 known hate crime offenders committed crimes against persons in 2015. Of these offenders:

  • 42.5 percent committed simple assault. 
  • 33.9 percent intimidated their victims.
  • 22.9 percent committed aggravated assault.
  • 0.3 percent (11 offenders) raped their victims.
  • 0.2 percent (9 offenders) murdered their victims.
  • 0.3 percent (12 offenders) committed other types of offenses, which are collected only in the UCR Program’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

Crimes against property

A total of 1,440 known hate crime offenders committed crimes against property in 2015. Of these offenders:

  • 58.1 percent committed destruction/damage/vandalism.
  • 15.8 percent committed robbery.
  • 12.3 percent committed larceny-theft.
  • 8.0 percent committed burglary.
  • 1.5 percent committed arson.
  • 1.1 percent committed motor vehicle theft.
  • 3.3 percent committed other types of offenses, which are collected only in the NIBRS.

Crimes against society

In 2015, 74 known offenders committed 65 crimes against society involving 65 victims. Crimes against society are collected only via the NIBRS. Crimes against society (e.g., weapon law violations, drug/narcotic offenses, gambling offenses) represent society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity; they are typically victimless crimes in which property is not the object.