Monday, November 23, 2009

Hate in Nevada on the Rise

The FBI's annual report on Hate Crime for 2008 shows increases across the board for the LVMPD's jurisdiction. Here are the results, as reported by the FBI.

Race bias: 39 incidents, up 116%.
Religious bias: 18 incidents, up 28%.
Sexual orientation bias: 12 incidents, up 100%.
Ethnic bias: 15 incidents, up 7%

Given the first minority major-party presidential candidate, and the prominence of gay rights ballot measures, one might make the assumption that racial and sexual orientation bias incidents may have increased and peaked around Election Day 2008. The statistics do not show that. There were 24 incidents in the first quarter of 2004 in Clark County, 36 in the second quarter, 14 in the third, and 10 in the fourth quarter.
North Las Vegas Police reported two incidents of racial bias and three incidents of ethinic bias in 2008. Henderson, Boulder City, and Mesquite Police reported no incidents.

For some national perspective, here's a story from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI is blaming sharp increases in hate crimes involving gays and religious groups for an overall rise of about 2 percent in hate crimes last year.
Data released today indicate that hate crimes based on sexual orientation rose nearly 11 percent, while religion-based crimes were up nearly 9 percent. However, the federal figures showed that racially motivated hate crimes fell less than 1 percent.
Overall, roughly a third of all hate crimes involved vandalism or property damage, while 30 percent involved some form of intimidation and another 30 percent physical attacks on individuals, including seven murders.
Officials say the increase in numbers may also be linked to the growing number of agencies tracking hate crimes.
Today's release comes less than a month after President Barack Obama signed a bill expanding the number of categories of those covered by the federal law against hate crimes. The law now covers crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

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