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Hate Crimes: State Statutes and Contacts: Colorado - Florida

General Information

This guide is meant to summarize state statutes relating to hate crimes.  In addition to the state statutes listed, there are relevant federal statutes:

  •  Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R. 3355, Pub.L. 103–322, Sec. 280003 108 Stat. 1796, 2096 provides for enhanced sentencing for hate crimes, defined as "a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person." 
  •  Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), 18 USC § 249
  • For more on federal statutes, see Congressional Research Service Report R47060, Overview of Federal Hate Crime Laws    

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a reporting form for hate incidents.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association has resources including a reporting form for hate incidents and hate crimes toolkits in 25 languages.

Alison M. Smith and Cassandra L. Foley, State Statutes Governing Hate Crimes, Congressional Research Service Report RL33099 (Sept. 28, 2010) served as an invaluable resource for this guide.  

For UCLA Law users, Westlaw has a treatise on Hate Crimes Law by Zachary J. Wolfe  (login and password required).

State specific information from the federal Department of Justice (hate crimes home page).

The Movement Advancement Project maintains a list of which state hate crimes statutes include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Colorado

Hate crimes laws:

  • Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-113: misdemeanor to desecrate venerated objects, including places of worship.
  • Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-121: Bias motiviated crimes as those in which the defendant acts "with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation"


Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:
FBI Field Office
FBI Denver
8000 East 36th Avenue
Denver, CO 80238
Phone: (303) 629-7171
 
State Attorney General’s Office
Office of the Attorney General
Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center
1300 Broadway, 10th Floor
Denver, Colorado 80203
Phone: 720-508-6000

Connecticut

Hate crimes laws:

  • Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-294n: Requires training for law enforcement officers about hate crimes
  • Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7m: Requires state police to collect data on hate crimes
  • Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-58: Criminal act of discriminatory practice, includes depriving of legal rights based on "religion, national origin, alienage, color, race, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, blindness, mental disability or physical disability," descdration of religious symbols or places of worship, burning a cross, or placing a noose on the property of another
  • Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-37a: felony to violate § 46a-58 while "while wearing a mask, hood or other device designed to conceal the identity"
  • Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-40a: ehanced penalties for a persistent offender of hate crimes
  • Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181j: felony to commit serious injury to a person "because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person"
  • Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181k: felony if a defendant "(1) Causes physical contact with such other person, (2) damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property of such other person, or (3) threatens, by word or act, to do an act described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection, if there is reasonable cause to believe that an act described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection will occur" "because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person"
  • Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181l: misdemeanor if a defendant "(1) Damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property, or (2) threatens, by word or act, to do an act described in subdivision (1) of this subsection or advocates or urges another person to do an act described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, if there is reasonable cause to believe that an act described in said subdivision will occur" "because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person or persons"

Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:
FBI Field Office
FBI New Haven
600 State Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Phone: 203-777-6311

State Attorney General’s Office
Office of the Attorney General
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) 808-5318

Delaware

Hate crimes laws:

  • 11 Del. Code Ann. § 805: misdemeanor to burn a cross or other religious symbol without permission of the property owner
  • 11 Del. Code Ann. § 1301: misdemeanor of disorderly conduct includes "Congregating with other persons in a public place while wearing masks, hoods or other garments rendering their faces unrecognizable, for the purpose of and in a manner likely to imminently subject any person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States of America."
  • 11 Del. Code Ann. § 1304: enhanced penalties when a defendant "Selects the victim because of the victim's race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or ancestry, shall be guilty of a hate crime. For purposes of this section, the term “sexual orientation” means heterosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality, and the term “gender identity” means a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of a person, regardless of the person's assigned sex at birth."
  • 11 Del. Code Ann. § 1331: misdemeanor to desecrate venerated objects, including places of worship.


Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:
FBI Field Office
FBI Baltimore (Serves Delaware)
2600 Lord Baltimore Drive
Baltimore, MD 21244
Phone: (410) 265-8080

State Attorney General’s Offices
Office of the Attorney General
Wilmington Office
Delaware Department of Justice
Carvel State Building
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE 19801
Criminal Division Phone: (302) 577-8500

Dover Office
Delaware Department of Justice
102 W. Water Street
Dover, DE 19904
Criminal Division Phone: (302) 739-4211

Georgetown Office
Delaware Department of Justice
114 East Market St.
Georgetown, DE 19947
Phone: (302) 856-5353

District of Columbia

Hate crimes laws:

  • D.C. Code § 22-3312.02: illegal to desecrate religious or secular symbols "or to place or to display in any of these locations a sign, mark, symbol, emblem, or other physical impression including, but not limited to, a Nazi swastika, a noose, or any manner of exhibit which includes a burning cross, real or simulated, where it is probable that a reasonable person would perceive that the intent is" to deprive persons of civil rights, or to intimidate or threaten
  • D.C. Code § 22-3312.03: illegal to commit certain acts "while wearing any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer"
  • D.C. Code § 22-3701: definitions related to hate crimes, including that a bias-related crime "demonstrates an accused's prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibility, homelessness, physical disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of a victim of the subject designated act."
  • D.C. Code § 22-3702: Requires collection of data on hate crimes
  • D.C. Code § 22-3703: ehanced penalties for bias-related crimes
  • D.C. Code § 22-3704: civil actions available to victims of bias-related crime

Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:
FBI Field Office
FBI Washington DC
Washington Metropolitan Field Office
601 4th Street NW
Washington, DC 20535
Phone: (202) 278-2000

State Attorney General’s Office
Office of the Attorney General
441 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 727-3400
TTY: (202) 727-3400

Florida

Hate crimes laws:

  • Fla. Stat. Ann. § 775.085: enhanced penalties "if the commission of such felony or misdemeanor evidences prejudice based on the race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, or advanced age of the victim"
  • Fla. Stat. Ann. § 775.0845: enhanced penalties when "the offender was wearing a hood, mask, or other device that concealed his or her identity."
  • Fla. Stat. Ann. § 806.13: crime of criminal mischief as injuring real or personal property, including places of worship
  • Fla. Stat. Ann. § 876.17: unlawful to burn a cross in a public place
  • Fla. Stat. Ann. § 876.18: misdemeanor to burn a cross on private property without permission of the property owner
  • Fla. Stat. Ann. § 877.19: Requires collection of data on hate crimes

Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:
FBI Field Offices
FBI Jacksonville
6061 Gate Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone: (904) 248-7000

FBI Tampa 
5525 West Gray Street
Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: (813) 253-1000
 
FBI Miami
2030 SW 145th Avenue
Miramar, FL 33027
Phone: (754) 703-2000

State Attorney General’s Office
Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
Switchboard Phone: 850-414-3300
Citizens Services Phone: 850-414-3990