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Hate Crime Statistics Case Examples News DOJ offices 

Fast Facts on Washington Hate Crime Incidents*

Bias Motivation Categories by Year

Bias Motivation Category 2020 2021 2021
Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry 309 449 449
Religion 52 67 67
Sexual Orientation 67 105 105
Disability 5 7 7
Gender 6 4 4
Gender Identity 23 19 19
Total: 462 651 651

Types of Crime

Crimes Against Persons 475 72.9%
Crimes Against Property 172 26.4%
Crimes Against Society 5 0.7%

Bias Motivation Categories

Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry 373 63.2%
Religion 57 9.7%
Sexual Orientation 103 17.5%
Disability 6 1.0%
Gender 11 1.9%
Gender Identity 40 6.8%


*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.  

Case Examples

Four men have pleaded guilty to hate crime and false statement charges in Washington for assaulting a Black man because of his race. The defendants were members of various white supremacist groups.

On Dec. 8, 2018, the four men entered a bar in Lynnwood, Washington. The men repeatedly gave “Nazi salutes” once inside the bar. After the DJ, a Black man, objected to the men touching his DJ equipment, the defendants attacked him while shouting racial slurs. Bystanders, who attempted to intervene, were also assaulted.

The hate crime carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison.

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A Washington man was sentenced in federal court to two years in prison after pleading guilty to making threatening phone calls to businesses in four states.

The man called grocery stores in Buffalo, New York, and threatened to shoot Black people in the stores. He told staff at the stores to “take him seriously,” and ordered the store to clear out the customers, as he was “nearby” and “preparing to shoot all Black customers.” One store closed. The threats followed a racially-motivated shooting at another Buffalo grocery store in May. Law enforcement traced the phone number and identified the person who made the call.

The man had placed similar threatening calls to business in other states. He told law enforcement that he made the threats to strike fear in the Black community.

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A federal grand jury indicted a Washington man for three arsons that damaged or destroyed Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Halls in Washington State.

The government alleges that the defendant set fire to Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Halls on three occasions in 2018 because of the religious nature of the properties. The Kingdom Halls were defaced, damaged, and destroyed through arsons.

The defendant was charged before with damage to religious property and use of a firearm in connection with a shooting that damaged a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in Yelm, Washington.

An indictment is a serious accusation. But the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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A Washington man pleaded guilty to a hate crime for the Feb. 24, 2020, arson at Queer/Bar, a nightclub and event space in Seattle, Washington.

According to the plea, the man set fire to the contents of a dumpster in the alley directly behind Queer/Bar on Feb. 24, 2020. He was arrested only minutes after setting the fire. He admitted to law enforcement that he set the fire and that he targeted Queer/Bar because it angered him to see a sign that said “queer.” He also told officers, “I think it’s wrong that we have a bunch of queers in our society.” A few weeks after the incident, the defendant told a stranger that his intent in setting the fire was to trap and hurt the people inside.

The defendant faces up to 10 years in prison.

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A federal court sentenced a Washington man to seven years in prison for his role in a plot to threaten journalists and advocates. The man, a leader of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, targeted people who were working against anti-Semitism. Three others pled guilty for their roles in the plot in prior hearings.

According to evidence, the participants in this plot made threatening posters. The posters contained Nazi symbols, threatening language and imagery. The posters were then distributed to members of Atomwaffen Division online. Members of the hate-group then delivered or mailed the posters to targeted journalists and advocates.

In Seattle, the group sent posters to a TV journalist who had reported on Atomwaffen Division. The posters were also sent to members of the Anti-Defamation League, a leading Jewish civil rights organization. The group also targeted journalists in Phoenix and Tampa for reporting on anti-Semitism.


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October 16, 2023

Washington Man Charged with Hate Crime for Threatening Federal Worker due to Worker’s Race

October 3, 2023

Washington Man Sentenced for Hate Crime Targeting LGBTQI+ Community at Seattle Nightclub

February 27, 2023

U.S. Attorney for Western District of Washington Leads DOJ Delegation to Commemorate “Bloody Sunday” and Passage of Voting Rights Act of 1965

January 30, 2023

Four Washington State Men Sentenced for Hate Crime and False Statement Charges After Racially-Motivated Assault

December 14, 2022

Washington Man Indicted for Hate Crimes for Arsons at Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Halls

November 7, 2022

Washington Man Pleads Guilty to Making Interstate Threats and Hate Crime

October 20, 2022

Washington Man Charged with Hate Crime for Shooting and Damaging Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall

August 3, 2022

Washington Man Indicted for Hate Crime and Interstate Threats of Racially Motivated Violence

July 22, 2022

Washington Man Arrested for Allegedly Making Interstate Threats of Racially Motivated Violence

June 23, 2022

United Against Hate Pilot Program in Eastern Washington Paves the Way for National Roll Out

May 26, 2022

Washington Man Pleads Guilty to Committing Hate Crime for Arson at Seattle Nightclub

April 8, 2022

Washington Man Charged in Racially Motivated Hate Crime Enters Guilty Plea

March 10, 2022

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington Announces Anti-Hate Crime Initiatives

March 8, 2022

Washington’s Two U.S. Attorneys Join Federal Law Enforcement Partners to Brief Religious Leaders on Security for Houses of Worship

January 11, 2022

Leader of Neo-Nazi Group Sentenced for Plot to Target Journalists and Advocates

September 29, 2021

Leader of ‘Atomwaffen’ hate group convicted of five federal felonies for conspiracy to threaten journalists and Anti-Defamation League employees

August 24, 2021

Leader of ‘Atomwaffen’ Conspiracy Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Threatening Journalists and Advocates

April 7, 2021

Leader of Neo-Nazi Group Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime and Conspiracy Charges for Threatening Journalists and Advocates

March 12, 2021

Statement of Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman on Anti-Asian Hate Crimes and Bias Acts

December 18, 2020

Four Indicted for Hate Crimes and False Statements After Racially Motivated Assault in Lynnwood, Washington

December 9, 2020

Member of Neo-Nazi Group Sentenced for Plot to Target Journalists and Advocates

March 17, 2020

Southwest Washington man charged with making anti-Semitic threats against neighbor

February 26, 2020

Arrests in four states of racially motivated violent extremists targeting journalists and activists


DOJ Offices

FBI Field Office



1110 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101-2904

T: 206.622.0460

U.S. Attorneys' Offices



Eastern District of Washington (Spokane)

Western District of Washington (Seattle)

CRS Regional Office



Northwestern Regional Office
915 Second Avenue
Suite 1808
Seattle, WA 98174

T: 206.220.6700
F: 206.220.6706

Updated November 16, 2023