AMU Homeland Security Original Public Safety

Hate Crimes in the United States Continue to Increase

By Dr. Jarrod Sadulski
Faculty Member, Criminal Justice

Hate crimes are especially threatening and are on the rise in U.S. society. According to the FBI, hate crimes involve a traditional crime such as murder or arson but with the added element of bias on behalf of the offender. This bias often comes due to someone’s race, religion, disability or ethnicity.

One recent study found that there was a 44% increase in hate crimes in 2021. In the same year, hate crimes against Asian Americans increased by 342%.

Hate Groups in the US

According to The Hill, over 838 hate groups have been identified in the United States. These groups are often aligned with far right and far left ideology, with extremism and anarchy being their key tenets. The Hill also notes that the states with the highest number of hate groups per capita in 2020 included Montana, Tennessee, Virginia, and Nevada.

Hate Crimes Can Often Be Committed by Non-Members of Hate Groups

Perpetrators do not have to be in a hate group to commit a hate crime. Anyone who commits violent acts against someone due to that person’s ethnicity or religion commits a hate crime, and those criminal acts should be prosecuted accordingly.

According to the Department of Justice, some examples of recent hate crime cases include:

Identifying a Hate Crime

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, some examples of hate crimes include:

  • Incidents that result in injury to the victim, even if the injury is minor
  • Threats of violence toward a victim or target when there is the possibility of the threat being carried out
  • Property damage that is motivated by bias toward the victim’s race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender
  • Property damage and other criminal acts that are directed toward public or private agencies, such as an abortion clinic or church

Hate Crime Victims Are Often Reluctant to Report the Crime

Hate crimes are especially vicious because they are motivated by hatred toward another person. Often, that victim is unknown to a perpetrator and is targeted due to his or her appearance.

All crimes – especially hate crimes – should be promptly reported by victims. Victims of hate crimes may be hesitant to report the crime because they live in fear of reprisal by the offender.

However, hate crimes are often prosecuted more aggressively than traditional crimes and there are preventative measures that can be taken to keep victims safe, such as court injunctions to protect the victim.

Preventing Hate Crimes

Hate crimes continue to be a major concern in our society. Indicators of extremism on someone’s social media sites or in someone’s personal life should be promptly reported to authorities.

Depending on the extremism and a perpetuator’s intent, it is wise to contact law enforcement or provide counseling services for someone who displays signs of extremism behavior to prevent hate crimes. Public awareness of what constitutes hate crimes can go a long way toward mitigating the risk of hate crimes. Law enforcement should also receive training in investigating hate crimes to ensure successful prosecution.

Jarrod Sadulski

Dr. Sadulski is an Associate Professor within our School of Security and Global Studies. He has over two decades in the field of criminal justice. His expertise includes training on countering human trafficking, maritime security, effective stress management in policing and narcotics trafficking trends in Latin America. Jarrod frequently conducts in-country research and consultant work in Central and South America on human trafficking and current trends in narcotics trafficking. He also has a background in business development. Jarrod can be reached through his website at for more information.

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