Hate Crime Reports Surge Across Mountain States Region in 2019

  • November 17, 2020


The number of reported hate crimes spiked in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming in 2019, according to the FBI’s annual hate crime report released on Monday. In Colorado, the number of reported incidents increased by 74 percent between 2018 and 2019. In New Mexico, the increase was 79 percent. After zero incidents were reported in Wyoming in 2018, the state had five reports in 2019.

The number of reported incidents in 2019 is the highest recorded in 20 years for both Colorado and New Mexico.

In Colorado, there were 210 reported hate crimes in 2019 compared to 121 reported incidents in 2018. Hate crimes directed at individuals based on their race, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity and disability all increased in Colorado from 2018 to 2019, according to the report. The FBI documented 117 crimes based on race/ethnicity/ancestry, 47 based on sexual orientation, 36 based on religion, 7 based on disability and 5 based on gender-identity.

In New Mexico, there were 50 reported hate crimes in 2019 compared to 28 reported incidents in 2018. Hate crimes directed at individuals based on their race, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity and disability all increased in New Mexico from 2018 to 2019, according to the report.

For 2019 in New Mexico, the FBI documented 30 crimes based on race/ethnicity/ancestry, 8 based on religion, 8 based on sexual orientation, 3 based on gender-identity and 1 based on disability.

In Wyoming, there were five reported hate crimes in 2019 compared to zero reported incidents in 2018. The FBI documented four crimes based on race/ethnicity/ancestry and one based on sexual orientation. The crimes were reported by four different cities and one university.

ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott Levin issued the following statement:

It is no longer surprising or shocking to see an increase in the number of reported hate crimes. At the same time, we cannot let fatigue distract us from the important work of preventing hate crimes. It is intolerable that reported hate crimes increased against nearly all targeted groups in the states in our region. Sadly, Jews and Jewish institutions continue to experience the greatest number of religion-based hate crime attacks in Colorado, New Mexico and across the country. Antisemitism is a virulent strain of hate that is not relegated to the history books. ADL will continue to do all it can to defend Jews and all victims of hate and bigotry.

Nationally, the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report reveals that 2019 was the deadliest year on record with 51 hate crime murders – a 113 percent increase over the previous record of 24 set in 2018. Total hate crime incidents rose to 7,314 nationwide. Race-based hate crimes remained the most common type of hate crime (54%), as has been the case every year since the FBI began reporting hate crime data. After declining in 2018, religion-based hate crimes increased by 7 percent, with 63 percent of the total number of reported religion-based hate crimes directed at Jews and Jewish institutions. Anti-Hispanic hate crimes rose nearly 9 percent, the fourth straight year of escalating numbers. Hate crimes targeting individuals based on gender identity rose another 18 percent in 2019 after a 41 percent increase in 2018.

The increase in hate crimes emphasizes the need for action. ADL implores Congress to immediately pass the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act. By improving hate crime training, prevention, best practices, and data collection, we can stem hate crimes nationwide. Additional federal funding is needed to improve record-keeping on hate crimes and expand anti-hate education and victims’ services programming. ADL also calls for legislative measures that make it mandatory for state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that receive federal funding to participate in the FBI’s Hate Crimes Statistics program in order to obtain a more holistic understanding of the severity of hate crimes.

ADL has updated its interactive hate crime map to reflect the most recent FBI data. The map includes links to every hate crime law on the books in the U.S. and FBI hate crime data from 2004-2019 for all 50 states and for cities with more than 100,000 residents. The map gives users the ability to explore hate crime laws, as well as hate crime data, broken down by targeted, protected characteristics at the national, statewide, and city level.