The FBI tracking of hate crimes show that Florida hate crime incidents have decreased 23% from 2018 to 2020, while hate crimes in the United States have increased 14.4% during the same period.
In addition, the state comparison data (2019) shows that Florida ranks 47th in hate crime incidents with 0.53 incidents per 100,000 population.The national rate of hate crimes per 100,000 population is 2.4.
The five states reporting the most incidents per 100,000 population were Washington (7.1), New Mexico (6.1), Massachusetts (5.7), New Jersey (5.4) and Vermont (5.2). The five states reporting the fewest number of incidents per 100,000 population were Maryland (0.3), Iowa (0.3), Arkansas (0.3), Pennsylvania (0.3), and Florida (0.5).
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program serves as the national repository for crime data and is used to generate reliable information for use in law enforcement administration, operation, and management.
The data, which was updated and released in October 2021, shows that nationwide hate crime incidents have increased from 7,036 in 2018 to 7,103 in 2019 to 8,052 in 2020. Over the period from 2018-2020 hate crime incidents in the United States increased 14.5%. However, in Florida hate crimes have decreased 23% from 141 in 2018 to 109 in 2020.
Also, the report notes that of the 6,780 known offenders, 55.1% were white, 21.2% were black or African American and 15.7% race unknown. The 2020 U.S. Census reports that the U.S. population is 57.8% non-Hispanic white and 12.1% black or African-American.
According to the annual report produced by the Florida attorney general, hate crimes in Florida have been trending down over the last 18 years. For example, from 2002 to 2005 there were an average of 294 hate crimes reported each year. Over the last four years, from 2017-2020, there was an average of 150 hate crimes reported annually, a decrease of 49%.
Recent media reports related to a ne0-Nazi demonstration near Orlando have increased political rhetoric around this topic.
State Rep. Carlos Smith (D-Orlando) stated,“People were rightly alarmed and outraged to see actual Nazis rallying in East Orlando yesterday, but Florida didn’t become haven for hate for overnight. @splcenter says our state has the 2nd most number of hate groups in America and the number is growing.”
His colleague, State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Belle Isle), took the opportunity to tie the demonstrations to Republicans. She said, “I hope every Republican who gleefully says “Let’s Go Brandon” takes a serious look at this and realizes they’re empowering dangerous and hateful people.”
DeSantis, who was criticized for not immediately responding to the demonstrations, said Democrats are using the Orlando rally to “smear me as if I had something to do with it.”
“They try to play games to try to politicize, why would they do that?” DeSantis asked. “Why would they want to elevate a half-dozen malcontents and try to make this an issue for political gain?”