Under the Bias-Related Crime Act of 1989 (D.C. Official Code § 22-3700 et. seq.), a bias-related, or hate, crime is a criminal act or attempted criminal act “that demonstrates an accused’s prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibility, homelessness, physical disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of a victim.”
It is important for the community to understand what is – and is not – a hate crime. First and foremost, the incident must be a crime. Although that may seem obvious, most speech is not a hate crime, regardless of how offensive it may be. In addition, a hate crime is not really a specific crime; it is a designation that makes available to the court an enhanced penalty. In short, a hate crime is not a crime, but a possible motive for a crime.
It can be difficult to establish a motive for a crime. Therefore, the classification as a hate crime is subject to change as an investigation proceeds – even as prosecutors continue an investigation. If a person is found guilty of a hate crime, the court may fine the offender up to 1½ times the maximum fine and imprison him or her for up to 1½ times the maximum term authorized for the underlying crime.
While the District strives to reduce crime for all residents of and visitors to the city, hate crimes can make a particular community feel vulnerable and more fearful. This is unacceptable, and is the reason everyone must work together not just to address allegations of hate crimes, but also to proactively educate the public about hate crimes.
If a person is found guilty of a hate crime, the court may fine the offender up to 1½ times the maximum fine and imprison him or her for up to 1½ times the maximum term authorized for the underlying crime. D.C. Official Code § 22-3703.
|Type of Bias||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||
|Multiple Bias Categories (see note #5 below)|
|Race; Ethnicity/National Origin; Gender Identity/Expression||1||1||0|
Race; Sexual Orientation
Ethnicity/National Origin; Homelessness
|Sexual Orientation; Gender Identity/Expression||1||0||1|
|Religion; Ethnicity/National Origin||0||0||1|
|Disability; Sexual Orientation||0||0||1|
- All figures are subject to change if new information is revealed during the course of an investigation or prosecution.
- The figures above comply with DC Official Code 22-3700. Because the DC statute differs from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting definitions, and includes categories not included in the FBI definitions, these figures may higher than those reported to the FBI;
- Suspected hate/bias crimes are reviewed monthly, the data in this document is current through January 31, 2022
- In August 2015, MPD implemented a new Record Management System and changed its data collection methodology for Race and Ethnicity fields to align with the US Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/topics/population/race/about.html). Hispanic, which was previously categorized under Race, is now captured under Ethnicity. Race, ethnicity, and gender data are based on officer observation, which may or may not accurately reflect a person’s race, ethnicity, and/or gender identity
- As of January 2022, one offense could have multiple bias categories,
- The hate crimes tracking spreadsheet is not an official MPD database of record and may not match details in records pulled from the official Records Management System;
- YTD equals May 1-31, 2022 versus May 1-31, 2023