[JURIST] The number of hate crimes committed in the US in 2005 fell 6 percent when compared to 2004 numbers, but the percentage of race-based incidents increased slightly, according to figures in a new report [website; press release] from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website]. In 2005, police forces across the country reported 7,163 hate crimes based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and disabilities, while 7,649 incidents were reported in 2004. The number of crimes based on race made up 54.7 percent of all reported hate crimes last year, which is higher than the 52.9 percent reported in 2004. Crimes based on religious beliefs made up 17 percent of the total and sexual orientation crimes made up just over 14 percent.
The FBI report indicates that in half of the hate crimes, the victims were assaulted including six murders and three rapes, while the other half of the crimes were reports of intimidation. Of the known perpetrators, 60 percent were white and 20 percent were black. The report was based on information gathered from police agencies across the US, including state, city, county, tribal, and federal law enforcement bodies. In 2004, the FBI reported an increase in racially motivated hate crimes [JURIST report] over those committed in 2003. AP has more.