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December 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM

FBI: Hate crimes decrease slightly in U.S., Washington

Times staff and The Associated Press

The number of hate crimes reported to U.S. law enforcement agencies in 2011 declined slightly compared with the previous year, according to the FBI.

Law enforcement agencies reported 6,222 hate crimes in 2o11, compared with 6,628 in 2010. Not every law enforcement jurisdiction reported the crimes, according to the statistics.

Washington state also saw a reduction, going from 232 reported hate crimes in 2010 to 213 in 2011.

Nearly half of the reported hate crimes in the U.S. in 2011 were motivated by racial bias, and one of every five hate crimes was motivated by a sexual orientation bias or religious bias. One in five was motivated by bias involving national origin or ethnicity, according to the FBI’s annual report.

A breakdown of hate crimes by offense type show that 29.3 percent were acts of destruction or vandalism; 29 percent were intimidation; 22 percent were simple assault; and 12.3 percent were aggravated assault.

In Seattle, a total of 12 hate crimes were reported to police in 2011, compared with 15 the year before. Six of the hate crimes in 2011 were motivated by sexual orientation, five were due to racial bias and one based on religion, according to the report.

Bellevue also had 12 reported hate crimes in 2011, seven due to race, four because of religion and one because of ethnicity, according to the report. In 2010, there were seven hate crimes reported to police.

Three hate crimes were reported to Everett police in 2011, two for sexual orientation and one because of racial bias, according to the FBI. Two hate crimes were reported in the city in 2010.

The cities with the most reported hate crimes in Washington were Tacoma and Vancouver, according to the FBI.

Tacoma had 24 reported hate crimes in 2011, with 13 because of racial bias and six due to sexual orientation. There were 35 such crimes reported in the city the previous year.

Vancouver had 19 reported hate crimes during the same period, with 14 due to race, according to FBI statistics. There were 12 such crimes reported to police in 2010.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has said hate crime is vastly underreported in the U.S.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Bellevue, Everett, FBI

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