What is a hate crime? What is a hate incident?
Hate crimes are acts committed against groups, individuals or property motivated by actual or perceived race, religion, ability, gender, sexual orientation or other characteristics. Hate crimes interfere with the civil rights of others and are criminal, prosecutable offenses.
Anyone can be a victim of a hate crime. You do not need to be a member of a group that is the target of bias.
Hate incidents are non-criminal acts of hostility against groups or individuals motivated by actual or perceived race, religion, ability, gender, sexual orientation or other characteristics.
- Name calling
- Distribution of hate material in public places
The U.S. Constitution allows protects these behaviors as long as they do not interfere with the civil rights of others. If a hate incident escalates to threaten a person or property, it may become a hate crime.