Documenting Hate

Hate crimes and bias incidents are a national problem, but there’s no reliable data on their nature or prevalence. We’re collecting and verifying reports, building a database of tips for use by journalists, researchers and civil-rights organizations.

Recent Stories

Stories from ProPublica and our partner newsrooms:

What Data?

We’re assembling a trove of data provided by tips from the public as well as information from law enforcement, news reports, social media and nonprofit organizations. Our database is available, with privacy and security restrictions, to civil-rights groups and journalists and is meant to enrich a national understanding and conversation about hate incidents.

The FBI is required by law to collect data about hate crimes, but the Bureau relies on local law enforcement to collect the data. The consequences are predictable: While the FBI lists about 6,000 hate crimes per year, a survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that the number is closer to 250,000.

The impediments to good reporting are many:

More than half of hate crime victims don’t report to police, and when they do, there are relatively few prosecutions. Local police officers are often poorly trained at identifying and reporting hate crimes, and as local jurisdictions aren’t required to report hate incidents to the FBI, state crime reports often exclude many hate crimes. While the majority of local law enforcement agencies nominally participate in the FBI’s data collection program, nearly 90 percent of them said they had no hate crimes at all in 2016.

Victims and witnesses: Have you been a victim of or witnessed a hate incident? Telling your story is important. Your contribution enables you, civil-rights groups and reporters to get a clearer picture of what’s actually happening, enabling us all to work on the problems at hand. We’ll treat your information with utmost care, and we will not share your report with the police. If you’ve got an incident or experience to share, please fill out this form.

Journalists: Reporters at local news outlets in the United States – TV, radio, online and print – can sign up to receive tips to follow up on and report. You’ll get real-time tips about hate incidents, reporting recipes, and invitations to join community calls. We’ll also promote stories you write using this data on the Documenting Hate site and social media accounts.

Civil-Rights Groups: If you are a civil-rights group or service organization serving vulnerable communities and you gather information about hate crimes and bias harassment, we’d like to talk about data-sharing – both getting your data into our database and giving you access to tips relevant to your service mission. If you aren’t collecting stories but would like to, you can contact us to receive free tools and guidance.

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