To the surprise of nearly no one, hate crimes in major United States cities are up significantly in 2017. The most recent figures come from figures compiled by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State Bernardino. According to their findings, the numbers mean a lot more than a minor adjustment. Here are some of the recent results of the study:
- Among the 13 largest cities, the number of hate crimes rose nearly 20% over the same period last year. Only two of those cities posted declines.
- For the six largest cities (among them New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago), the number was up by over 22%. NYC posted an increase of more than 28%; L.A. increased by 13%; and Chicago increased by over 8%.
- Interestingly, but not surprisingly, some of the most notable hate crimes were committed by avowed white supremacists, including the March stabbing of an African-American man in New York City; the fatal stabbing of two men who were attempting to protect a Muslim woman (wearing a hijab) in Portland, Oregon; and the killing of a female protester in Charlottesville last month.
Hate Crimes in Arizona
In Arizona, to qualify as a hate crime under A.R.S. 13-701D15, the crime must be motivated by malice because the victim is identified (or perceived) by race, religion, color, national origin, disability, or gender. It’s not a separate crime; rather, it’s an aggravating factor that can be used as a sentence enhancement.
Where the figures really get interesting is when we look at our own area, particularly the events in Phoenix over the past eight months. What the researchers found was that hate crimes in Phoenix soared during the same period by a whopping 46%.
No matter how you look at it, the results in Phoenix, while they show an increase in hate crimes along with most other large cities, demonstrate an increased volume that is so high – and so out of proportion to other large cities – as to set the city apart from the rest of the country. Phoenix, at least at this particular point in time, has earned the nickname of “the hate capital of the United States.”
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004