Fast Facts on Virginia Hate Crime Incidents*
|Bias Motivation Category||2020||2021||2022|
|Crimes Against Persons||134||63.5%|
|Crimes Against Property||74||35.1%|
|Crimes Against Society||3||1.4%|
*2021 was the first year that the annual hate crimes statistics were reported entirely through the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). As a result of the shift to NIBRS-only data collection, law enforcement agency participation in submitting all crime statistics, including hate crimes, fell significantly from 2020 to 2021.
A jury found a Virginia man guilty for a hate crime in in his attack on two Hispanic construction workers.
Evidence showed that on July 13, 2019, at about 6 p.m., the victims were closing their construction site for the day. The defendant approached the men and asked to use their power washer.
When the workers did not allow the defendant to borrow the power washer, he became enraged and began screaming racist epithets. He picked up a construction tool with a sharp metal blade, and tried to stab one of the men. A second victim tried to intervene, but he was struck in the face several times causing serious injuries.
For more information, visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/hatebias-related-crimes
A Virginia man who burned a cross on the front yard of a Black family’s home in June, 2020, following a civil rights protest earlier that day, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. The defendant pled guilty in April, 2021, to criminal interference with federally protected housing rights because of the victim’s race.
On June 14, 2020, the Marion Police Department received a report of a burning cross in the front yard of a Black family, one of whom had organized a civil rights protest the day before.
Witnesses stated that the defendant admitted to the cross burning and used racial epithets when referring to the Black family.
A man in Virginia was charged with lying to federal agents about his involvement in the burning of a cross on the front lawn of an African-American woman’s home and criminal interference with fair housing based upon the victim’s race.
The charges include lying to federal agents and criminal interference with fair housing based upon the victim’s race. According to court documents, on June 14, 2020, at approximately 12:55 a.m., the Marion Police Department received a report of a burning cross in the front yard of an African-American family, one of whom had organized a civil rights protest the day before.
In the following days, working with the FBI, investigators learned of the involvement of the defendant. When questioned by investigators if he had anything to do with the cross-burning incident, he allegedly lied. Witnesses interviewed during the investigation stated that the defendant admitted to the cross burning and used racial epithets when referring to the African American family.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
A Florida man pled guilty to threatening an African-American Charlottesville City Council candidate because of his race and because he was running for office, and to threatening, harassing, and stalking another victim using social media.
The defendant admitted using fake names on social media to promote white supremacy and to express support for racially-motivated violence. The defendant also admitted to using social media to threaten violence against an African-American resident of Charlottesville, Virginia, because of his race and because he was running for City Council.
The defendant will be sentenced on July 23, 2020, and faces up to one year in prison for making online threats and up to five years in prison for using the internet to threaten, stalk, and harass.
James Alex Fields, Jr., who participated in a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to hate crimes charges that resulted in the death of a victim, caused bodily injury, and involved an attempt to kill other people after he drove into a group of counter-protestors.
According to facts signed by Fields, he attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where multiple groups and individuals chanted and expressed white supremacist and anti-Semitic views. After law enforcement told rally participants to leave, he admitted that he drove into downtown Charlottesville where a racially and ethnically diverse crowd had gathered. Fields proceeded to drive into a crowd of counter-protestors because of their actual and perceived race, color, national origin, and religion. He also admitted that prior to the rally he used social media to express and promote white supremacist views; the social and racial policies of Nazi-era Germany; and violence against groups that he perceived to be non-white.
William Syring, of Arlington, Virginia, was convicted for threatening employees of the Arab American Institute (AAI) because of their race, national origin, and efforts to encourage Arab Americans to participate in political and civic life in the United States.
The defendant sent over 700 emails to AAI employees between 2012 and 2017, including five death threats in 2017. Syring previously pleaded guilty in 2008 to sending threatening emails to AAI employees. The emails sent between 2012 and 2017 used nearly identical language that he admitted were threats in 2008. AAI employees lived in fear that Syring would follow through with his threats.
Syring was convicted on all 14 counts in the indictment. Sentencing is set for August 9, 2019, and he faces a maximum penalty of 42 years of imprisonment.
April 18, 2023
August 12, 2022
April 29, 2022
August 20, 2021
July 1, 2021
May 7, 2021
May 4, 2021
March 15, 2021
August 5, 2020
July 14, 2020
June 12, 2020
April 30, 2020
August 15, 2019
June 28, 2019
Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk)
Western District of Virginia (Roanoke)
Mid-Atlantic Regional Office