Fast Facts on Washington Hate Crime Incidents*
|Bias Motivation Category||2020||2021||2021|
|Crimes Against Persons||475||72.9%|
|Crimes Against Property||172||26.4%|
|Crimes Against Society||5||0.7%|
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October 16, 2023
October 3, 2023
February 27, 2023
January 30, 2023
December 14, 2022
November 7, 2022
October 20, 2022
August 3, 2022
July 22, 2022
June 23, 2022
May 26, 2022
April 8, 2022
March 10, 2022
March 8, 2022
January 11, 2022
September 29, 2021
August 24, 2021
April 7, 2021
March 12, 2021
December 18, 2020
December 9, 2020
March 17, 2020
February 26, 2020
December 7, 2018
September 10, 2018
Eastern District of Washington (Spokane)
Western District of Washington (Seattle)
Northwestern Regional Office