Researcher Questions Hate Crime Hike Under Trump, Points to Hoaxes, Flawed Data Analysis – IOTW Report

Researcher Questions Hate Crime Hike Under Trump, Points to Hoaxes, Flawed Data Analysis


A Kentucky researcher doubts reports of a growing hate crime problem in America in recent years, arguing that the increase in hate crime reports in 2017 can be mostly explained away as hoaxed crimes and erroneously interpreted data.

Hate crimes increased by some 17.2 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to the latest FBI data. But Wilfred Reilly, assistant professor at Kentucky State University, says the increase was mainly caused by the fact that about 1,000 more law enforcement agencies reported their hate crime data to the FBI in 2017.

“To be responsible for the entire surge, each agency [of the 1,000] would have to report exactly one hate crime,” he pointed out via email. “I believe with reason—given the average agency has reported between .44 and .63 hate crimes annually in recent years, and that high-crime agencies are more likely to withhold data from the FBI in the first place—that almost all of the surge is due to this technical change in reporting rates.”

Publicly available data isn’t detailed enough to determine if Reilly is right. He’s asked the FBI to provide him with the more complete data set.

There are ways, however, to put the available data into perspective.

Hate Crime Rate

One way to adjust the data would be to look at how much of the country’s population it covers. Law enforcement agencies hand over the data voluntarily. Of the around 18,000 law enforcement agencies countrywide, only about 16,000 participated in hate crime reporting in 2017, which was already the year with the highest participation ever.

By calculating the rate of hate crimes per 100,000 Americans covered, one gets an increase of less than 11 percent between 2016 and 2017. That’s still a major hike, but less than the more than 12 percent increase between 2014 and 2015.

Another major caveat is that hate crime reports are very rare. The rate in 2017 stood at less than 2.4 incidents per 100,000 residents covered by the data. The murder rate that year was 5.3 per 100,000, making homicide more than twice as likely to occur than a hate crime incident reported. Meanwhile, the majority of hate crimes, such as intimidation and vandalism, are non-violent.

Hate Crime Hoaxes

Another factor that pushes up the number is fakes, Reilly argues. He has collected a list of over 600 incidents reported in media that he believes qualify as hate crime hoaxes. Some 300 of them were reported in the last five years with more than a hundred concentrated in 2017.

6 Comments on Researcher Questions Hate Crime Hike Under Trump, Points to Hoaxes, Flawed Data Analysis

  1. …I don’t doubt there’s been a HUGE increase in hate crimes, but it’s all been from the LEFT, and against White people and Christians, and so NOT counted as such…

  2. Hate crimes, hate speech, hate tweets, MAGA hats- damn near everything is considered hate by lefty snowflakes. All bogus, of course.
    You can expect this type of hypocritical poison to escalate. It will be amplified by corrupt, finger-pointing propagandists on every media outlet.

    I reckon failure to prosecute high-profile offenders like Smollett will fan the flames.

  3. Over the past half a century we made some real strides in Civil Rights, but you’d never know it today. Today you’d think it was 1950! Hell some of these idiots would have you believe it’s 1850 with all their talk of slavery!!
    Before the turn of the century (20 years ago) you didn’t hear anything about fake “hate” crimes, but Blacks looked around and figured out that there wasn’t much left to complain about so they started fabricating “racism” to re-start the cause.
    Well guess who caught on when they saw all the attention it got? Gays & Lesbians. They saw how the squeaky wheel got greased and said “I want some of that!”
    Guess who caught on next? That’s right… the muzlims.
    And newspapers and the so-called “news” networks, staggering from the internet and all the cable competition, were only too happy to haul out the bellows and whip up the flames especially against the White American Male! And when that wasn’t enough they hauled out the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis and White supremacy boogeymen! So whut we have here is the perfect storm and a common “enemy” giving the radical Left a reason to get stronger by amping up the hate rhetoric. Only God knows where it will stop. Probably with a civil war, but so be it if that’s what they want!


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