Hate Crimes and How to Report Them
What is a hate crime?
Any crime motivated by hostility/bias to the victim due to personal characteristics of a protected class. A person commits a bias motivated crime if, with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of a protected class, that person:
a) knowingly causes bodily injury to another person; or
b) by words or conduct, knowingly places another person in fear of imminent lawless action directed at that person or that person’s property such as words or conduct are likely to produce bodily injury to that person or damage to that person’s property; or
c) knowingly causes damage to or destruction of the property of another person.
What is a protected class?
Any group that has special protection under the law, such as:
How to report a hate crime
Call 911 for in-progress crimes. Both Boulder and Longmont police departments have LGBTQ liaisons, as well as mental health co-responders and victim’s advocates. You can request their presence in police response.
If you want to pursue legal action, then please report to a law enforcement agency and continue reading. If you do not want to pursue legal action and/or prefer to remain anonymous while still having your incident included in national hate crime statistics, then please use the Matthew Shepard Reporting Survey.
Write down as many details about the crime as soon as possible after the incident.
Include distinguishing characteristics of the perpetrator[s] gender, age, height, race, weight, and clothes to help to investigate law enforcement later on.
If any threats or biased comments were made (such as anti-gay or anti-trans slurs), include them in your notes.
File a report with the local police. Find Your Local Police Dept.
Get the responding officer's name and badge number.
Urge the officer to check the “hate/bias-motivation” or “hate crime/incident” box on the police report.
Make sure the officer files an incident report form and assigns a case number. If a police report is not taken at the time of your report, go to the police station and ask for one.
Get your own copy, even of the preliminary report.
If you feel unsafe going to the local police then file a report with your General Attorney's Office or local FBI Field Office. Muslim Advocates compiled a list for all 50 state. Find Offices
The Boulder County District Attorney’s office has a Bias & Hate Crimes Initiative to raise awareness and improve the collective response to these offenses. Report bias and hate crimes to their Bias Hotline to help ensure that the case is recorded and handled properly. The hotline is for non-emergency reporting only; call 911 for in-progress crimes.
District Attorney Bias Hotline: 303-441-1595
How to find support after a hate crime
Whether you are going through a reporting process or not, it is still important to reach out for support in the aftermath of a hate crime. Thankfully there are many resources out there for you.
Reach out to friends and family if you are able to and comfortable.
Get professional help from an LGBTQ affirmative therapist. Out Boulder has a list for you: LGBTQ Affirming Counseling and Psychological Health Services.
Contact an anti-violence support service:
Important Local Numbers
Law Enforcement Resources
Local Emergency Response: 911
Boulder County District Attorney (DA): 303-441-3700
DA Bias Incident Hotline (non-emergency): 303-441-1595
Boulder City Non-Emergency Dispatch*: 303-441-3333
Longmont Non-Emergency Dispatch*: 303-651-8501
Boulder County Sheriff's Office Non-Emergency Dispatch: 303-441-4444
FBI Denver Office: 303-629-7171
State Attorney General's Office: 720-508-6000
Non-Law Enforcement Resources
Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence: 303-444-2424
Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley: 303-772-4422 (24hr crisis line)
Moving to End Sexual Assault: 303-443-7300
Colorado Crisis Services: 844‐493‐8255 (24hr crisis line)
Matthew Shepard Foundation: 303-830-7400