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Police Department

Understanding Hate Crimes

Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Definition of a Hate Crime

A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. A hate crime is a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.

State of Tennessee's Definition of a Hate Crime

A crime committed by a perpetrator who intentionally selected the person or the property that was damaged or otherwise affected by the crime, in whole or in part, because of the perpetrator’s belief or perception regarding the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or gender of that person or the owner or occupant of that property.