TBI data show increase in reported hate crimes in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – For the first time this year, Tennessee residents can take a good look into the percentage of crimes motivated by religion, ethnicity and even race.

According to last years  crime data data submitted by local law enforcement agencies all across the state, including Chattanooga Police, hate crimes were up 48-percent. Of that, more than half the victims were males.

“They can report racial bias, ethnicity origin bias, religious bias, disability bias so there’s several different broad categories. More specifically there able to break it down. For example, under religious bias they can go so far as to report if it was anti-Jewish, anti-Islamic or anti-Mormon,” said TBI Spokesperson Josh Devine.

When the numbers are broken down by jurisdiction, Memphis Police have reported the most numbers of hate crime at 122, followed by Chattanooga Police which reported 50 cases. Most of the Chattanooga cases involve assault or intimidation, but that’s not all that was reported.

“The Chattanooga Police Department reported two arsons as having anti-African American and black bias. They also reported three victims in destruction or damage category,” Devine said.

But there are some errors in the report. According to the data on hate crimes involving anti-Islamic crimes, Chattanooga is listed as having three murder victims. When News 12 contacted Chattanooga authorities to get more information about those specific victims, A spokesperson for the department said the three murder victims were reported was an error.The spokesperson told News 12 the information would be updated.

The report also shows that racial bias was the most frequent bias with 118 victims; which is 28 more than what was reported in 2014.

Categories: Chattanooga, Crime, Hamilton County, Local News

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