A report was released this month concerning bias-motivated incidents, a/k/a hate crimes, that targeted lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. The report was issued based upon a study by Security.org. The report analyzed FBI crime statistics for six and a half years beginning in 2013.
What the report found was that in Arizona anti-LGBT hate crimes are on the rise. The data includes the following:
- Arizona was fifth among all the states (and the District of Columbia) in the rate of anti-LGBT hate crimes. The only places that ranked higher were D.C., Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts.
- The number of anti-LGBT hate crimes in Arizona represents 23% of all hate crimes committed in the state. As a percentage of all hate crimes, this placed Arizona tenth among all the states.
- Phoenix ranked third among all cities in the country in the rate of anti-LGBT incidents per 100,000 residents.
State law in Arizona does not specify hate crimes as separate offenses. The Criminal Code says merely that any crime committed out of malice based upon race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability is an aggravating factor in sentencing.
Other Groups are also Victimized
While LGBT individuals, overall, represented the group most often victimized on a percentage basis by hate crimes, it might surprise you to know how other groups fared on the issue of hate crimes per 100,000 people. Here is the breakdown of victims per 100,000 population:
- LGBT – 11.9
- Jewish – 7.7
- Muslim – 6.7
- Native American – 4.4
- Black – 4
- Hispanic – 0.8
- Asian – 0.6
- White – 0.3
So while the most victimized group was LGBT, it is clear that racism, antisemitism, and xenophobia all play a role in the surge in hate crimes in American – and in Arizona – over recent years.
We should add that the Arizona statistics do not appear to be some kind of a fluke or statistical abnormality. As we said, Phoenix ranked third among all cities in anti-LDBT incidents between 2013 and 2019. Last year, in 2018, the city ranked third in the country in overall hate crimes. This appears to reinforce the validity of findings of the recent study.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004