DENVER, CO, November 12, 2019 … The number of reported hate crimes in Colorado increased by 16 percent between 2017 and 2018 while the number of reported cases nationwide slightly decreased, according to the FBI’s annual hate crime report released today.
In its annual Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report, the FBI found that total hate crimes decreased nationwide slightly in 2018 after three consecutive years of increases. The agency reported 7,120 total hate crimes in 2018, compared to 7,175 in 2017. Race-based hate crimes were once again the most common type of hate crime. Nearly 50 percent of race-based hate crimes were directed against African-Americans. Hate crimes directed at LGBTQ individuals increased by almost six percent, including a significant 42 percent increase in crimes directed against transgender individuals. Anti-Hispanic hate crimes increased 14 percent, the third straight year of increased reporting. While religion-based hate crimes decreased by eight percent from 2017, nearly 60 percent of hate crime attacks were targeted against Jews and Jewish institutions in 2018.
In Colorado, there were 123 reported hate crimes in 2018 compared to 106 reported incidents in 2017. Last year in Colorado, the FBI documented 78 crimes based on race/ethnicity/national origin, 24 based on sexual orientation, 16 based on religion, three based on gender-identity and two based on disability. Hate crimes directed at individuals based on their race, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability all increased from 2017 to 2018 in the state, according to the report.
A diverse group of community partners called the Colorado Coalition Against Hate (formerly Mountain States Against Hate; full list below) today said more must be done to address the disturbing trend of increased hate crimes and incidents in Colorado. The coalition was formed in 2017 to counter hate crimes in Colorado by educating the public about hate crimes and partnering with law enforcement to improve incident response and reporting.
Coalition partner statements:
Scott Levin, Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region:
“It is intolerable that Jews and Jewish institutions continue to experience the greatest number of religion-based hate crime attacks in Colorado and across the country. A little more than a week ago, the FBI thwarted a white supremacist’s plot to attack a Pueblo synagogue and a small band of white supremacists distributed anti-Semitic propaganda in Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins. It is clear that anti-Semitism is not a thing of the past. ADL will continue to do all it can to defend Jews and all victims of hate and bigotry.”
Rex Fuller, CEO, The Center on Colfax:
“As we come closer to Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, The Center on Colfax, Colorado’s LGBTQ community Center, would like to express our disappointment about the lack of reporting on bias-motivated crimes targeting the transgender community. In the past year, there have been 28 reported murders of transgender people in the United States. We at The Center on Colfax find it hard to believe that none of those murders would be considered bias motivated. In addition to the national issue of lack of reporting, we have witnessed a significant increase of bias-motivated incidents targeting the LGBTQ community locally. We call on all public safety agencies to do better and start including gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation in their hate crime and bias-motivated incident policies, from investigation to survivor services to reporting.”
Rev. Amanda Henderson, Executive Director, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado:
“We are saddened to read about the 16% increase in hate crimes and incidents of hate in Colorado. The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado stands against any and all incidents of hate in Colorado and around the United States. We believe in, and will defend, the dignity and worth of all people regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration or housing status, or any other characteristic. Hate has no place in our society. We are committed to bringing people together across our differences to work each day for healing and justice.”
Dilpreet Jammu, Executive Director, Colorado Sikhs:
“The 2018 Hate Crime Report is a stark reminder that Colorado is not immune to hate or to hateful rhetoric. The numbers are understated. There are individuals, and groups, in our state that are doing needless harm to so many and wasting precious time and resources. Imagine the wealth we could generate if we eliminated the negative energy and divisions created by some of our leaders, and instead came together as one human race, with a focus on taking care of each other, with compassion to ‘the other’, as is taught by our many traditions and religions. There would be peace and safety for all.”
Barbara Grove Jones, President, NAACP Aurora Colorado Branch:
“Hate crimes against people of color are nearly 60% of the U.S. total with 45% of those directed at African Americans and 13% targeting Hispanics/Latinos. A significant percentage are violent crimes. The trends of these cowardly acts nationwide are traditional with prior years, consistent with those we see in Aurora, and sadly indicative of the times. We continue to fight against this scourge through enforcement, training, victim support and improved reporting with our partners in the Coalition and law enforcement.”
Mardi Moore, Executive Director, Out Boulder County:
“These statistics bear out what we know to be true in Boulder County and our surrounding area. Based upon the climate and this sad reality, our ongoing work with law enforcement and our District Attorney’s Office continues. Our LGBTQ community is resilient, and we will continue our work with increased resolve.”
Rachel Nielsen, Director, Colorado Resilience Collaborative:
“Despite coordinated efforts to prevent hate crimes, understand the problem in Colorado, and provide support for survivors, we are still experiencing an increase in violence. It is difficult to meet the criteria for a hate crime, so many additional incidents of harassment, discrimination, and hate speech are not even reflected in these numbers. This should be a wake-up call to Colorado.”
Daniel Ramos, Executive Director, One Colorado:
“Hate crimes are real and they are on the rise. Far too often, we hear stories of people in this state that feel unwelcome, unsafe, and targeted because of the color of their skin, who they love, how they identify, or how they worship. Today’s report validates the heightened concerns of hate in our communities and highlights the challenges ahead to address this important issue.”
Julie Reiskin, Executive Director, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition:
“We have learned from history that hate does not work with democracy. Hate is based on fears, on a belief that people who are ‘other’ are somehow less than human. Hate goes against the values that many of us hold dear. Hate does not solve problems. Martin Luther King said, ‘Power without love is reckless and abusive and love without power is sentimental and anemic.’ It is our duty as social justice advocates to combat hate. We do this by showing the love we all have inside us and using the power we can amass by joining together and demanding enforcement of existing laws that give every person within our borders basic human and civil rights.”
Colorado Coalition Against Hate partner organizations:
Law Enforcement Partners: