Crime & Safety

Hate Crimes Spiked In Georgia In 2020: FBI Data

Law enforcement agencies in Georgia and other states reported more than 7,700 hate crimes in 2020.

This March 19 file photo of flowers, candles and signs are displayed at an Atlanta memorial, following the shooting by Robert Aaron Long, a white man charged with a hate crime and accused of shooting and killing six women of Asian descent and two others.
This March 19 file photo of flowers, candles and signs are displayed at an Atlanta memorial, following the shooting by Robert Aaron Long, a white man charged with a hate crime and accused of shooting and killing six women of Asian descent and two others. (AP Photo/Candice Choi, File)

GEORGIA — While Georgia spent much of 2020 coping with the repercussions of a deadly pandemic, it was also experiencing an alarming jump in the number of reported hate crimes.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation this week released hate crime statistics for 2020. The data gives an overview of bias-motivated incidents throughout the nation and in each individual state.

The data, submitted by 15,136 law enforcement agencies across the nation, also provides information about the offenses, victims, offenders and locations of hate crimes.

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In Georgia, 401 of 657 law enforcement agencies reported a total of 195 hate crimes. Among the reported incidents, 69 were Anti-Black or African American.

The number of reported hate crimes in our state increased last year compared with 2019, when 147 hate crimes were reported.

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Here's a look at what 2020 data revealed about why victims of hate crimes were targeted in Georgia:

  • Race/ethnicity/ancestry: 131
  • Sexual orientation: 24
  • Religion: 26
  • Disability: 6
  • Gender: 3
  • Gender identity: 4
  • Multiple biases: 1

Most Prevalent Bias Type

  • Anti-Black or African American: 69
  • Anti-Hispanic or Latino: 9
  • Anti-white: 40
  • Anti-gay (male): 15
  • Anti-Jewish: 11

See the full 2020 data report for Georgia.

At the national level, 7,554 single-bias incidents involving 10,528 victims were reported in 2020. Single-bias implies victims were targeted for a single reason.

A majority of victims — about 62 percent — were targeted because of their race or ethnicity. Nearly 21 percent were victimized because of their sexual orientation, and just over 13 percent were targeted because of the offender's religious beliefs or bias.

The FBI also reported 205 multiple-bias hate crimes, bringing the total number of reported hate crimes to 7,759. The number represents a 9.4 percent increase from 2019 when 7,287 hate crimes were reported.

Of the 7,426 hate crimes classified as crimes against a person, more than half — 53 percent — were for intimidation, while 28 percent were for simple assault, and 18 percent were for aggravated assault. Twenty-two murders and 19 rapes were reported as hate crimes.

Of the known offenders, 55 percent were white and 20 percent were Black or African American, according to FBI data.

National statistics also noted an uptick in the number of hate crimes against Asian Americans. In 2019, 161 hate crimes targeted Asian Americans. In 2020, that number jumped to 274.

Asian Americans have recently come under attack due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stop Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Hate, a national coalition that has become an authority on gathering data on racially motivated attacks related to the pandemic, received 9,081 incident reports between March 19, 2020, and this June. Of those, 4,548 occurred last year, and 4,533 this year including six Asian American women killed in March in a spate of spa shootings in Metro Atlanta.


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