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Report Shows 380% Increase In Hate Crimes In Eugene, City Says That’s An Incomplete Picture

Brian Bull/KLCC News

A recent study from a home security research group ranked Eugene as the number one city nationally with the biggest increase in hate crimes. But, that report doesn’t tell the whole story. 

SafeHome.org used data from the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report. They compared stats on Eugene from 2013, an unusually low year, to 2017, when incidents spiked nationally.

They reported a 380 percent increase in hate crimes for Eugene. But, City Analyst Fabio Andrade said that’s not how FBI data should be used.

“Every city and state, they have different reporting methodology, they have different ways of classifying what is a hate crime, what is not. That data’s for information only, it cannot be used for ranking among cities and states, " Andrade said.

Andrade said people should instead focus on local reports. Last year, Eugene saw a 42 percent drop in hate and bias incidents ranging from graffiti to intimidation. Andrade says while that's progress, there's room for improvement. 

"We mentioned in the report that a single case is too many, we would like to see no hate crimes reported at all but that's just not the reality," Andrade said.

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.