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FBI releases updated hate crime statistics, Iowa sees 67% increase from 2019

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - There were over 1,000 more hate crimes in the country in 2020 compared to 2019, accoridng to statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday.

Those findings also showed Iowa had total hate crimes increase from 9 to 15 from 2019 to 2020. 11 of the 15 documented hate crimes in the state last year were anti-Black. That’s a jump from 2019 where 5 of the 9 cases were against Black people.

2019 saw one hate crime against an Asian person and 2020 saw one anti-”other race” hate crime.

Officials with the Linn County Attorney’s Office say these figures might not show reports that were never investigated. Nick Maybanks, first assistant with the Linn County Attorney’s office, said a hate crime investigation starts with categorizing who the crime was committed against.

“Race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, and disability,” Maybanks said, which are all protected classes when it comes to reporting hate crimes.

Maybanks said a hate crime is committed when someone commits a certain act of violence against someone else because that person falls under one of those protected class categories.

“Police would investigate a crime,” Maybanks said. “If there’s evidence indicated in the crime that there’s a potential hate motive or there was a hate crime, then they would submit that to us and we would look for evidence that the crime was committed because of the victim’s protected class status.”

As with most investigations, Maybanks said it starts with the circumstances of what happened.

“We’d look for whether they’re affiliated with a hate group, whether it be an ONLINE group or maybe a recognized domestic terrorist group,” Maybanks said.

Maybanks said that Linn County has seen both online hate groups or known terrorist groups contribute to hate crimes.

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