Hate crime

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A hate crime (also known as a bias-motivated crime or bias crime) is a prejudice-motivated crime which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their membership (or perceived membership) in a certain social group or race. Examples of such groups can include, and are almost exclusively limited to: sex, ethnicity, disability, language, nationality, physical appearance, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. Non-criminal actions that are motivated by these reasons are often called "bias incidents".

Hate crimes are often committed by aptly named hate groups.

Types of hate crimes

Examples of hate crimes that have been committed

  • A offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan calling themselves the Knights of Mary Phagan kidnapped and lynched a Jew named Leo Frank on October 16, 1915 in an event that began the KKK's tradition of cross burning.
    • Also, the KKK have committed numerous hate crimes in general during their entire existence.
  • A 14-year old African-American boy named Emmett Till was kidnapped, brutally beaten, tortured, and murdered by Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, for allegedly flirting with Bryant's wife Carolyn (though this would later be revealed to be a lie.)
  • Every crime committed by serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin can be considered hate crimes, as he was a known white supremacist and all his murders were racially motivated.
  • In February 1982, Neo-Nazi Frank Spisak went on a killing spree at the University of Cleveland in what he described as an attempt to continue the legacy of Adolf Hitler. Spisak's killing spree mostly targeted black men, but he also killed a white man he believed to be Jewish and attacked a woman he claimed had insulted the American Nazi Party.
  • On December 20, 1986, three black men were attacked and beaten by a white gang in New York City. One of the victims, Michael Griffith, died after being hit by a car when he ran into the road trying to escape. Jon Lester, Scott Kern and Jason Ladone were convicted of manslaughter for their part in the attack.
  • The 1991 mass shooting perpetrated at a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas by former merchant marine George Hennard is considered a hate crime against women, as Hennard was a well-known misogynist and most of the victims were women.
  • On 22 April 1993, a black youth named Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in London by five or six white youths. In 2012, two of the perpetrators, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were sentenced to life in prison.
  • Transgender man Brandon Teena was shot to death by John Lotter and Tom Nissen on December 31, 1993, alongside two witnesses. Lotter and Nissen hated Teena due to his gender identity and had previously gang-raped him after forcing him to show his girlfriend his vulva.
  • 15-year-old Richard Everitt was stabbed to death in London in 1994 by a Bangladeshi gang lead by Badrul Miah. Prior to the stabbing the gang had been out looking for white people to attack due to gang-related ethnic tensions.
  • 32-year old Scott Amedure, a gay man, was murdered by his neighbor, Jonathan Schmitz, at his home in Lake Orion, Michigan, several days after both men appeared on The Jenny Jones Show in which Amedure confessed that he had a crush on Schmitz.
  • On June 17, 1998, three white supremacists - Lawrence Russell Brewer, John William King, and Shawn Allen Berry - kidnapped a 49-year old African-American man named James Byrd, Jr., took him to a remote county road out of town, beat him severely, spray-painted his face, urinated and defecated on him. They then chained him by his ankles to the back of their pickup truck and dragged him along an asphalt road for about three miles. Byrd was conscious for most of the ordeal, until he was finally killed when body hit a culvert, severing his head and right arm.
  • On October 12, 1998, American homosexual student Matthew Wayne Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, and left to die in a field on the outskirts of Laramie, Colorado. The perpetrators of this crime, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, admitted that they committed the crime because Shepard was homosexual. The crime would later be dramatized in the stage play The Laramie Project.
  • In April 1999, a man named David Copeland detonated several nail bombs in London in order to kill Muslims, immigrants, Jews and gay people, which he hoped would start a race war and ultimately result in the BNP winning the UK elections.
  • Brothers Benjamin and James Williams killed a gay couple, Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder, in a homophobic hate crime in July 1999. The brothers also burned down a synagogue in another, anti-Semitic hate crime.
  • British-Pakistani Zahid Mubarek was beaten to death by his cellmate, psychopathic racist Robert Stewart, in February 2000. Just two days before the murder Stewart had expressed his desire to beat up non-white people and watched the film Romper Stomper, about a gang of violent skinheads.
  • On the weekend of July 4, 1999, American man Benjamin Nathaniel Smith, a white supremacist and member of the Creativity Movement, went on a three-day, two-state shooting spree to target Blacks, Jews, and Asians, killing two people and wounding nine others.
  • Mark Anthony Stroman shot three Asian immigrants in Texas from 16 September - 4 October 2001, killing two. Stroman gave his reason as being revenge against Muslims for the September 11 attacks (although one of the victims was actually a Hindu).
  • A white man named Ross Parker was stabbed and beaten to death by a gang of Pakistani men in Peterborough, UK, in September 2001. Three of the attackers would later be sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • In 2004, a white Scottish youth named Kriss Donald was abducted in Glasgow by five Pakistani men - Imran Shahid, Daanish Zahid, Zeeshan Shahid, Zahid Mohammed and Mohammed Faisal Mustaq - who stabbed him multiple times and set him on fire. They were reported to have targeted Donald because he was white.
  • On July 29, 2005, a black teenager named Anthony Walker and his white girlfriend Louise Thompson were confronted in Merseyside by a couple of white youths, one of whom, Paul Taylor, killed Walker with an ice axe.
  • A series of unsolved serial murders against gay men in Paturis Park, Brazil, are considered to be a hate crime. A total of 13 men were murdered in the area from February 2007 and August 2008. The killer responsible, dubbed the "Rainbow Maniac", has yet to be apprehended.
  • A transgender Spanish man, Roberto González Onrubia, was held prisoner by two cisgender women, Dolores de los Reyes Navarro and Ainhoa Nogales Bergantiños, who subjected him to transphobic abuse, forcing him to dress as a woman and starving him to "make [him] look more like a man" before eventually beating him to death.
  • The July 2008 murder of Angie Zapata in Colorado is considered a hate crime. She was punched repeatedly and then bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher after informing her killer - Allen Andrade - that she was transgender.
  • The torture and murder of Jennifer Daughtery, a mentally disabled woman, could be considered a hate crime against the disabled; the perpetrators of the crime, known as The Greensburg Six, never made a specific motive for their actions clear.
  • The shooting of African-American teenager Laquan McDonald on October 20 2014 by police officer Jason Van Dyke is considered a hate crime, as Van Dyke had a long series of complaints made against him for assaulting black suspects and was known to use racial slurs.
  • On June 17, 2015, white supremacist Dylann Roof committed a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing 9 people (all African-Americans) with his ultimate goal being to start a race war.
  • Two LGBT rights activists, Mahbub Tonoy and Xulhaz Mannan, were murdered in Bangladesh by Islamic terrorists. The killers admitted that Mannan was targeted for being openly gay.
  • Mass shootings of police officers committed by Black Supremacists such as those committed by Gavin Eugene Long, Micah Xavier Johnson and Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley can to some extent be considered hate crimes.
  • From December 2016 to early January 2017, a mentally disabled white youth was tortured by Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany and Tanishia Covington, who shouted "Fuck white people!" at him, forced him to drink out of a toilet and removed parts of his scalp with a knife.
  • On 29 January 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette entered the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec and began firing at the Muslim worshippers, killing six and injuring nineteen.
  • English Defence League supporter Darren Osbourne drove a van through a crowd of Muslims outside Finsbury Park Mosque in June 2017, killing one, a man named Makram Ali, who collapsed in front of the van while trying to escape due to a medical condition. Osbourne's motive for the attack was reportedly hatred and fear of Muslims.
  • The 2018 murder of gay Jewish teenager Blaze Bernstein by Samuel Woodward, a member of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, was declared a hate crime by authorities.
  • On October 27, 2018, white nationalist Robert Bowers committed a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing eleven people in the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.
  • An unusual example involves American actor Jussie Smollett, who claimed that he had been brutally attacked by two men wearing ski masks in the early morning hours of January 29, 2019. Smollett claimed that the men said racial and homophobic slurs to him and tried to put a noose around his neck. However, an investigation later revealed that the whole incident was staged and Smollett arranged the whole thing as a publicity stunt.
  • Brenton Tarrant, an Australian white supremacist and a member of the Alt-Right movement, committed a mass shooting at two separate mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2019, in an Islamophobic attack against the Muslim community in Christchurch.
  • On February 23, 2020, a black jogger named Ahmaud Arbery was lynched by three white men after a chase, which the perpetrators later described as a "good deed". At least one of the killers, Travis McMichael, is known to hold racist views towards black people and to have called Arbery a "fucking nigger".
  • On May 25 2020, an African-American man named George Floyd was asphyxiated when police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes. It is unclear if Chauvin was racially motivated, although he did have a history of similar behaviour against black suspects.
  • On June 6 2020, Lee Mouat attacked two black teenagers with a bike lock in Sterling State Park, Michigan, leaving one with a broken jaw and several missing teeth. During the attack Mouat shouted racial slurs and declared that "Black lives don't matter".
  • The Atlanta spa shootings that took place on March 16, 2021, in which a man named Robert Aaron Long killed 8 people (six of whom were Asian women) has been described as a hate crime against Asians by some, as hate crimes against Asians have increased dramatically in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The gunman himself has denied this, but it is unclear how much credibility he has and he has since been charged with hate crimes in relation to the shooting.
  • On May 14, 2022, white supremacist Payton Gendron attacked a supermarket in Jefferson Avenue, a predominantly black neighbourhood in Buffalo, U.S. He shot thirteen people, most of them black, killing nine outright and leading to a tenth dying from their injuries. Gendron's motivation was his belief in the White Genocide theory, a racist conspiracy theory stating that a conspiracy exists to eradicate the white race through mass immigration and interracial breeding.
  • Every crime committed by the Death Angels can be considered hate crimes, as they were black supremacists and all of their murders were racially motivated.
  • On July 26, 2016, Satoshi Uematsu invaded a care center and stabbed and murdered 19 disabled people.