Hate Crimes In Missouri Rose Nearly 70 Percent in 2021

Hate crimes related to victims' race or ethnicity jumped from 76 incidents in 2020 to 119 in 2021

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click to enlarge Nicholas Proffitt pled guilty to hate and arson charges on Tuesday for torching the Cape Girardeau Islamic Center in 2020. - COURTESY CAPE GIRARDEAU POLICE
Nicholas Proffitt pled guilty to hate and arson charges on Tuesday for torching the Cape Girardeau Islamic Center in 2020.

The number of hate crime incidents reported to law enforcement agencies in Missouri jumped by almost 70 percent in 2021 with the majority of incidents associated with victims' race, according to new data released by the FBI today.

Last year, 119 Missourians reported they were targeted for their race, ethnicity or ancestry, up from only 76 race-related hate crimes in 2020.

“This spike is alarming regardless of whether there were more incidents or because more victims were willing to report it,” Special Agent in Charge Jay Greenberg of the FBI St. Louis said in a statement.

The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program analyzes hate crime data submitted by thousands of U.S. law enforcement agencies every year. In Missouri, 481 out of 591 law enforcement agencies in the state submitted hate crime data.

All hate crimes are categorized by type. After race, hate crimes related to sexual orientation were the most prevalent in Missouri and doubled from 2020 to 2021, rising from 16 to 33.

Hate crimes related to victims’ religion also doubled from 14 to 22. In one of the latest examples of this, Nicholas Proffitt of Cape Girardeau pled guilty on Tuesday to torching the Cape Girardeau Islamic Center in 2020 during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Like Proffitt, the vast majority of all hate crime offenders are white. Out of 201 offenders whose race was known in 2021, 123 were white. Most offenses were associated with simple assaults and occurred in or around homes.

National and statewide hate crime data can be viewed on the FBI’s website.

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About The Author

Monica Obradovic

Monica Obradovic is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times.
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