For the tenth consecutive year, the City of Eugene is issuing a report on both criminal and non-criminal hate and bias activity. The 2021 report shows a decrease in reported incidents and that race and ethnicity continue to be the leading motivating factors for hate and bias activity in Eugene.
Mayor Lucy Vinis and other city officials spoke at a press conference releasing the report on Tuesday, October 4, at the Mims Historic House (NAACP Office) at 330 High Street.
In 2021, there were 43 bias crimes and non-criminal incidents reported to the City through the Office of Equity & Community Engagement (ECE; previously Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement) and Eugene Police Department (EPD), a decrease from the 93 incidents reported in 2020. Bias crimes can include all classes of crime motivated by prejudice that is based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, housing status or disability. Non-criminal incidents are acts of hate which are based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, but by nature do not raise to the level of crime by definition.
The results indicate race and ethnicity continues to be the leading motivating factor for reported hate and bias activity in Eugene. African Americans were the group most affected by the crimes of physical violence and intimidation. The Jewish community was the main target of criminal vandalism, which includes graffiti containing hate messages. Black or African American community members were also the primary targets of non-criminal incidents. The distribution of hate and bias incidents did not change from previous years and central neighborhoods continue to be the most impacted areas.
It is probable that the incidents reported in Eugene represent only a small percentage of the actual activity occurring in the city. According to the Department of Justice’s 2019 Crime Victimization Survey, 56% of hate crimes nationally were not reported to police for various reasons.
“Though the 2021 report shows a decrease in hate or bias crimes in our community, there is still work to do as race and ethnicity continue to be the motivating factors for hate and bias crimes,” said Mayor Lucy Vinis. “It is on all of us as a community to stand up to these hateful acts.”
In alignment with the City Council goal of creating a Safe Community, the City is committed to working with community partners to reach the vision of promoting a community where every person, regardless of their identity, is safe, valued, and welcome.
The City of Eugene has a Hate and Bias Incident Response Plan. The Office of Equity & Community Engagement works in partnership with Eugene Police to respond and track incidents and crimes. Victims report through OECE or Eugene Police. OECE is responsible for collecting statistical information on both criminal and non-criminal hate and bias activity and providing victim support and community response to hate and bias activity in Eugene. EPD takes reports, provides alerts to OECE and City officials, and investigates criminal activity.
To report crimes: if it is an emergency, dial 911; if it is not an emergency, call 541-682-5111. To report non-criminal activity, call the Office of Equity & Community Engagement at 541-682-5177.
 U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report: Hate Crime Victimization Statistical Tables, 2014 – 2015 June 2017.