Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Justice Cabinet releases annual report on hate crimes
FRANKFORT, KY – The Kentucky State Police reported 56 incidents of hate crime in 2007, 13 percent fewer than in 2006, according to a recent report released by the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Compared to the surrounding states, Kentucky reported fewer hate crimes than Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, and Virginia, but more hate crimes than Indiana and West Virginia.
Although the number of hate crimes decreased in 2007, the number of active hate groups increased, according to the report. The Southern Poverty Law Center identified 13 active hate groups in Kentucky in 2007, up from 11 groups identified in 2006. Eight of the 13 groups identified are chapters of the Ku Klux Klan.
These and other findings are presented in the report, Hate Crime and Hate Incidents in the Commonwealth, 2007. The report was prepared by the Kentucky Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), through a grant administered by the Justice Cabinet, and is one of several annual reports developed as resources for criminal justice agencies.
The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet is charged with collecting and disseminating information on criminal justice issues and crime trends. This report is designed to serve as a single resource for all available data on hate activity in Kentucky.
Hate Crime and Hate Incidents in the Commonwealth, 2007, incorporates both official statistics from law enforcement, as well as anecdotal information gathered from local newspapers and state and national human rights organizations. Because official data may indicate how well hate crimes are reported rather than their actual incidence, the anecdotal evidence is used to provide a more complete picture of statewide hate activity.
Other key findings include:
Race was the most common motivation for hate crimes in Kentucky in 2007 (68 percent), according to KSP reports. Of those incidents, 92 percent were anti-black. The second most common motivation for hate crimes was sexual orientation (16 percent). Of those incidents, 67 percent were anti-male homosexual and 22 percent were anti-female homosexual.
30 percent of all hate crimes in Kentucky occurred in a residence/home, according to KSP reports, while 20 percent occurred in a school/college, and 13 percent occurred in a highway/road/alley/street. Of all hate crimes reported in Kentucky, 54 percent involved the offense of intimidation, and 27 percent involved the offenses of destruction/damage/vandalism.
A comprehensive search of local Kentucky newspapers revealed 21 incidents of hate activity in 2007 ranging from racist graffiti to a noose left on an African-American family’s lawn.
The Anti-Defamation League identified five extremist events held in Kentucky in 2007. These events included white supremacist demonstrations, an annual Ku Klux Klan gathering, and an annual white power rally and music festival.
In FY 2007, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights received 2,850 phone calls and letters from potential victims of discrimination in Kentucky. A total of 423 complaints alleging illegal discrimination were filed. Up from 383 in 2006, this marked the highest number of complaints in the agency’s 47-year history.
A copy of the full report is available at http://www.justice.ky.gov/departments/gmb/Statistical+Analysis+Center.htm. For further information about the report or the Kentucky SAC, contact Emily Raine Koyagi at 502-564-7554 or Emily.Koyagi@ky.gov.