Disability-Related Hate Crimes Down, FBI Says
As hate crimes rose across the U.S. to a level that hasn’t been seen in over a decade, fewer of them targeted people with disabilities.
Figures released this week from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program indicate that there were 169 reported hate crime offenses rooted in disability bias in 2019, down slightly from 177 the year before.
The numbers are based on data submitted by 15,588 law enforcement agencies nationwide about incidents motivated by disability as well as race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.
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Overall, the FBI said there were 7,314 hate crime incidents in 2019. That’s the highest number reported since 2008 and marks an increase from 7,120 the previous year.
The data indicate that 2% of victims in 2019 were targeted because of their disability.
Among the disability-related offenses reported, 116 were motivated by bias against mental disabilities while 53 targeted those with physical disabilities, the FBI said.
The figures likely represent an undercount, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, since not all law enforcement agencies submit data to the FBI and many hate crimes go unreported.