What Is a Hate Crime?
A hate crime in the United States is a traditional offense, such as murder, arson or vandalism, with an added element of bias.
For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
Hate itself is not a crime – and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.
Source: U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation