The Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines a hate crime as:
A committed criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias(es) against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity; also known as Hate Crime. Even if the offender was mistaken in his or her perception that the victim was a member of the group he or she was acting against, the offense is still a hate crime because the offender was motivated by bias against the group.
Massachusetts General Law defines hate crimes as follows: A hate crime is any criminal act coupled with overt actions motivated at least in part by racial, religious, ethnic, handicap, gender or sexual orientation prejudice, or bias.
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 265 section 37 also offers several other protections regarding violation of individuals' constitutional rights. Please refer below for the definition:
No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate or interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with, or oppress or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the constitution or laws of the commonwealth or by the constitution or laws of the United States. Any person convicted of violating this provision shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both; and if bodily injury results, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both.
The Lowell Police Department (LPD) is committed to serving all residents in the City and takes hate crime allegations very seriously. The standard method for reporting hate crimes in the City of Lowell is by either calling the LPD via telephone (978-937-3200) or by visiting the police station. As always, in an emergency, residents are advised to call 911. Residents can also confidentially report a hate crime by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hate Crime Statistics
According to the FBI, there were 7,103 single-bias incidents in 2019. The bias motivation categories included: race/ethnicity/ancestry/bias (57.6% of incidents), religion (20.1%), sexual orientation (16.7%), gender identity (2.7%), disability (2%), and gender (< 1%). For more information on FBI hate crime statistics, please visit https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/hate-crime-statistics.
According to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) 2019 Massachusetts Hate Crimes Report, EOPSS received 376 reports of hate crimes, which is a 7.12% increase from 2018. These reports resulted in 421 offenses. To view the full report, please visit https://www.mass.gov/lists/hate-crimes-in-massachusetts-annual-reports.