by Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop | September 8, 2021
While the number of reported hate crimes rose significantly, those targeting people with disabilities are on the decline, according to new data from the FBI.
The agency’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program shows that there were 83 incidents stemming from disability bias in 2020, down from 144 the year before.
This comes as overall reports of hate crimes increased 6% last year to 7,759 incidents. That’s the highest number since 2008.
The figures are based on statistics submitted by 15,136 of the nation’s 18,623 law enforcement agencies. Hate crimes data includes information about incidents motivated by disability as well as race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.
The report found that 1% of hate crime victims were targeted because of their disability.
Among disability-related incidents, the FBI said that 45 were considered anti-mental disability while 38 were anti-physical disability.
The FBI report likely represents an incomplete picture of the true level of hate crimes occurring, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group noted that fewer police agencies participated in the data collection this year than last meaning that thousands of agencies either did not supply any information or reported no hate crimes.