Bias-Motivated Crime (Hate Crime)

Criminal

Bias-Motivated Crimes are also called “hate crimes.”  People who commit hate crimes are focused on the victim’s race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.

Hate crimes can involve physical violence or threats of violence towards a person or their property.  A Hate Crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on what kind and how much harm was caused.

Examples of hate crimes include when:

  • Someone destroys property with things that insult the victim. For example, someone vandalizes a gay couple’s property by spray painting homophobic slurs across their garage door.
  • Someone hurts a victim while using insults about the victim. For example, a black man was attacked and beaten up by a group of white teenagers yelling racial slurs.   
  • Someone forces a person to take off clothes that are part of their faith. For example, someone physically forced or threatened to beat up/rape/shoot a victim if they didn’t take off a head covering that is part of their faith.                  

If you or someone you know needs help on this topic, click here for some Denver-based and national organizations.

To see Colorado statutes on Bias-Motivated Crimes, click here.