A new report by Eugene’s Office of Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement states that a high spike in hate incidents in 2017 could have been related to the 2016 presidential election.
In 2018, there were 81 reported incidents. That’s a 42% decrease from 2017, when 139 incidents were reported to the Eugene Police Department and Eugene’s Office of Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement.
Although the number decreased, the groups and areas affected remained the same.
Central Eugene, including downtown, the University of Oregon and the Whiteaker neighborhood, continue to see the most hate incidents.
“Race and ethnicity continued to be the most frequently reported motivating factors for hate and bias incidents,” according to the report. “This remains consistent with trends in Eugene and is consistent with federally reported statistics on hate and bias crimes.”
The black community remains the most impacted by hate and bias crimes despite making up less than 2% of Eugene’s population. Of 17 reported race-related hate crimes, eight were committed against black people.
Fewer incidents in 2018, and in the first quarter of 2019, may be indicating a return to the area’s typically lower trends.
Regardless of the lower numbers, the report states that hate crimes and incidents are notoriously under reported.
According to a survey prepared by the U.S. Department of Justice, “54% of hate-motivated crimes were not reported to law enforcement during 2011-2015.”