The number of hate crimes committed in Tennessee increased by 1 percent in 2018, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The annual report that details the volume and nature of hate crime in Tennessee found 196 bias-motivated crimes were reported across the state last year. In 2017, 196 were reported and 180 in 2016.
Overall, property-crime related offenses accounted for 24.9 percent, with the remainder of bias-motivated crimes being those designated as being "Crimes Against Persons."
Assault offenses were the most frequently reported bias-motivated offenses in 2018.
Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry bias was the most frequently reported known bias in 2018 at 55.6 percent, with Anti-Black/African-American comprising 31.6 percent of the total reported number of hate crime.
Religious-bias crimes increased from 18 in 2017 to 29 in 2018. Sexual bias-crimes from 30 in 2017 to 43 in 2018. Disability-bias fell from 35 in 2017 to 15 in 2018.
The only Rutherford County agency that reported bias-motivated crimes was the Murfreesboro Police Department with six. MPD reported one incident on simple assault, one incident of intimidation, and one incident of vandalism against African-Americans. One anti-gay incident of aggravated assault against was reported.
Hate crime are defined as those committed based on differences in personal characteristics, like appearance, language, nationality, religion, race or sexuality. The key element of any hate crime is the presence of personal bias as motivation.