COLORADO SPRINGS — For the first time, the bureau began a crime stats system that focuses on hate crime, which nearly doubled in 2018 compared to the number of cases the previous year. The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management recorded 185 hate crime cases in 2018 compared to 96 in 2017.
The most common offense was intimidation, followed by assault and vandalism.
There were 112 victims of racial bias crime and 32 victims of sexual orientation and gender identity bias.
An official says increased collaboration between state and local law enforcement may have contributed to an increase in hate crime reports
In Colorado Springs police investigated 13 hate crimes in 2018. 10 of those are tied to racial bias, the others tied to religious bias.
Javier Quinones is a proud resident of the Pueblo area.
"I moved here from Chicago about 3 1/2 years ago I went into Pueblo and became an activist for the community. I put together poetry slams, art shows, skateboard competitions for the kids," said Quinones.
Recently released state crime numbers and studies show hate crimes nearly doubled in Colorado in 2018 and participation in hate groups is on the rise. Things Quinones has worked so hard to keep out of his Pueblo Community.
"The hate is what scares me the most because once you have it set in your mind to hate it spreads like wildfire," said Quinones.
Southern Poverty Law Center reports at least 21 hate groups call Colorado home. Three of them identify as being based in Colorado Springs. So what does it mean for our state?
"Hate crimes are perpetrated by only a few and so it only takes a few to be influenced or encouraged," said Mark Silverstein of the Colorado ACLU.
State crime numbers show there weren't any hate crimes reported in 2018 in Pueblo or Pueblo County.
Quinones is one of the people planning a multi-cultural festival scheduled for Sunday August 11th from 11am to 7pm at Mineral Palace Park in Pueblo. He says it's community events like this are key in squashing the hate in his community.
"What really comes to my mind in this situation is a Marvin Gaye quote. He says war is not the answer only love can conquer hate. That was in the 60s and it's still relevant now," said Quinones.
For more information on the multi-cultural festival scheduled for this weekend: https://www.facebook.com/events/2489259907971638/
Tool to search for hate crime reports in your Colorado community: https://coloradocrimestats.state.co.us/tops/report/hate-crime/colorado-springs-police-department/2018
ACLU Colorado information on reporting hate crimes: https://aclu-co.org/legislation/hb17-1138-hate-crime-reporting-law-enforcement/