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MEDFORD, Ore. -- The FBI came to Medford in August to discuss it's hate crime awareness campaign with community influencers.
Special Agent Kieran Ramsey in Charge of the Portland Field Office, spoke to media about statistics found by the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
In Oregon, there were 271 single bias incidents reported in 2020, and 170 single bias incidents reported in 2019. In Oregon, there were 360 reported victims in 2020, and 242 reported victims in 2019.
Nationally, there were 7,554 single bias incidents reported in 2020, and 7,081 single bias incidents reported in 2019. There were also 10,528 reported victims in 2020, and 8,812 reported victims in 2019.
The FBI had some major take aways from the data. The bias motivator in about 70% of Oregon incidents was race, ethnicity, or ancestry. Victims perceived as Black were the racial group targeted most frequently.
Religion was the motivator in about 10% of cases. Victims perceived as Jewish were the religious group targeted most frequently.
Sexual orientation was the motivator in about 10% of reported Oregon incidents.
Gender identity was the motivator in about 3% of reported Oregon incidents.
There are a number of federal laws that give FBI the ability to investigate hate crimes. Those laws generally require some kind of criminal act and a finding that the person committing the act did so because the person was motivated by bias.
The criminal act can include offenses such as murder, assault, arson, and it generally requires the use or threat of force or violence.
For an incident to qualify as a federal hate crime, the subject(s) must have acted wholly or in part based on the victim’s actual or perceived status. This is generally consistent with state law.
Under federal law, bias motivators include:
• National origin
• Gender identity
• Sexual orientation
Anyone who has information about or believes they are a victim of a federal hate crime should contact the FBI by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.