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Police Department Investigated Hate Crimes
Hate Crimes reported by the SFPD to the California Department of Justice
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) releases data regarding hate crimes monthly as mandated in California Penal Code 13023. The dataset compiles data from the department’s Hate Crimes Unit, Special Investigations Division, to provide information on investigations into hate crimes reported to the SFPD.
This dataset provides counts of hate crimes investigated by the SFPD, by type, over time. These data include the reported hate crime offense, bias type, location/time, and the number of hate crime victims and suspects. This information can be used to help understand the number, location, and nature, of hate crimes that are reported to or reported by the SFPD. Provision of date information allows for analysis of data trends over time.
A hate crime is a crime against a person, group, or property motivated by the victim's real or perceived protected social group. An individual may be the victim of a hate crime if they have been targeted because of their actual or perceived: (1) disability, (2) gender, (3) nationality, (4) race or ethnicity, (5) religion, (6) sexual orientation, and (7) association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Hate crimes are serious crimes that may result in imprisonment or jail time.
Not all prejudice incidents including the utterance of hate speech rise to the level of a hate crime. The U.S. Constitution allows hate speech if it does not interfere with the civil rights of others. While these acts are certainly hurtful, they do not rise to the level of criminal violations and thus may not be prosecuted. When a prejudice incident is reported, the reporting officer conducts a preliminary investigation and writes a crime or incident report. Bigotry must be the central motivation for an incident to be determined to be a hate crime. In that report, all facts such as verbatims or statements that occurred before or after the incident and characteristics such as the race, ethnicity, sex, religion, or sexual orientations of the victim and suspect (if known) are included. To classify the prejudice incident, the San Francisco Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit of the Special Investigations Division conducts an analysis of the incident report to determine if the prejudice incident(s) reported falls under the definition of a “hate crime” as defined by state law (see California Penal Code 422.55 - Hate Crime Definition).
This dataset does not include any identifiable information of any person (suspect, victim, reporting party, officer, witness, etc). This dataset does not contain geographic location data, however, location type (bar, highway, store, etc) is captured. This dataset may not capture other law enforcement agency incidents within San Francisco (BART PD, US Park Police, for example), or reports not filed with the SFPD.
The release of these data must balance the need for disclosure to the public against the risk of violating the privacy of those individuals present within the dataset. As such, the dataset is subject to several privacy controls to ensure anonymity for all persons within the data.
This dataset mirrors hate crimes data releases by the California Department of Justice.
Hate Crime data may be removed from the dataset in compliance with court orders to seal records or for administrative purposes such as active internal affairs investigations and/or criminal investigations. The data shared does not include personally identifiable information on any person within the dataset (suspect, victim, reporting party, officer, witness, etc).
Individuals working with the data should note the following:
- 1.While the SFPD's incident dataset does include a number of incident reports listed with a hate crime, these incident reports are the initial reporting, prior to the analysis of the Hate Crimes Unit, noted above. As such, reconciliation of the number of hate crimes between datasets is not recommended.
- 2.A hate crime event may contain the occurrence of one or more criminal offenses committed against one or more victims by one or more suspects or perpetrators. Victims can have more than one offense committed against them. These data provide information regarding the most serious offense committed.
- 3.The dataset captures date information to the month level. All reports are coded to the first day of the month. This should not be interpreted to indicate all hate crimes are reported or occurred on the 1st of the month.
Aggravated Assault– an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purposes of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm (Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting [UCR] definition).
Bias– a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or physical/mental disability.
Bisexual– of or relating to persons who experience sexual attraction toward and responsiveness to both males and females; (noun) a bisexual person.
Ethnic Bias– a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons of the same race or national origin who share common or similar traits in language, custom, and tradition.
Gay– of or relating to males who experience a sexual attraction toward and responsiveness to other males; (noun) a homosexual male.
Gender Non-Conforming– (adjective) describes a person who does not conform to the gender- based expectations of society, e.g., a woman dressed in traditionally male clothing or a man wearing makeup.
Heterosexual– of or relating to persons who experience sexual attraction toward and responsiveness to members of the opposite sex; (noun) a heterosexual person.
Homosexual– of or relating to persons who experience sexual attraction toward and responsiveness to members of their own sex; (noun) a homosexual person.
Known Suspect– any person alleged to have committed a criminal act or attempted criminal act to cause physical injury, emotional suffering, or property damage. The known suspect category contains the number of suspects that have been identified and/or alleged to have committed hate crimes as stated in the crime report. For example, witnesses observe three suspects fleeing the scene of a crime. The word “known” does not necessarily refer to specific identities.
Lesbian– of or relating to females who experience sexual attraction toward and responsiveness to other females; (noun) a homosexual female.
Location– the place where the hate crime event occurred. The location categories follow UCR location specifications developed by the FBI. Examples are residence, hotel, bar, church, etc.
Multi-Racial– a hate crime that involves more than one victim or suspect, and where the victims or suspects are from two or more different race groups, such as African American and white or Hispanic and Asian.
Offenses– criminal acts that are recorded as follows: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, simple assault, fondling, intimidation, and destruction/vandalism, false pretenses, weapons violation as defined in the UCR and the national Hate Crimes Statistics Report.
Physical/Mental Disability Bias– a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on physical or mental impediments/challenges, whether such disabilities are congenital or acquired by heredity, accident, injury, advanced age, or illness.
Property Crimes – burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and destruction/ vandalism are reported as property crimes.
Racial Bias– a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons, such as Asians, blacks, or whites, based on physical characteristics
Religious Bias– a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on religious beliefs regarding the origin and purpose of the universe and the existence or nonexistence of a supreme being. Examples are Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Protestants, or Atheists.
Sexual-Orientation Bias– a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on sexual preferences and/or attractions toward and responsiveness to members of their own or opposite sexes.
Simple Assault– an unlawful attack by one person upon another that does not involve the use of a firearm, knife, cutting instrument, or other dangerous weapon and in which there were no serious or aggravated injuries to the victim (FBI’s UCR definition).
Uniform Crime Reporting– a federal reporting system that provides data on crime based on police statistics submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. The DOJ administers and forwards the data for California to the federal program.
Victim– an individual, a business or financial institution, a religious organization, government, or other. For example, if a church or synagogue is vandalized or desecrated, the victim would be a religious organization.
Violent Crimes– murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, and intimidation are considered violent crimes in this report. (Robbery is included in crimes against property in the FBI Hate Crimes Statistics Report.)