The FBI counted almost 100 hate crimes in Missouri last year. But the numbers come with some cautionary notes.
The FBI’s uniform crime reporting program lists 70 hate crimes based on race, 14 more based on sexual orientation, nine based on religion and a half-dozen based on ethnicity. But it’s not easy to determine with certainty that crime resulted from bias. The agency says the subjectivity of motivation makes those determinations difficult.
FBI spokesman Bridget Patton, at the Kansas City office, says hate crimes are only part of a broader issue.
She says hate crimes call within the bureau’s civil rights program. “That is one of the top priorities of the bureau,”: she says.
The figures indicate Springfield had 25 hate crime reports, as many hate crimes as St.Louis and Kansas City combined. But Patton cautions that comparisons such as that should not be taken seriously because there is no uniformity in who must report those incidents. And, she says, many victims never report hate crimes because they do not wish to be re-victimized.
In other words, there’s a lack of uniformity in compiling the uniform crime report.
Bottom line, though, is that 99 times last year, a hate crime was reported in Missouri.