Utah’s hate crime statistics are increasing each year, and the majority is ethnicity/race bias.  

Last week, a Utah man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a hate crime he committed in 2018, against a Latino father and son, reported the Salt Lake Tribune. Luiz Lopez and his father Jose Lopez were attacked outside of the family-owned tire shop by Alan Dale Covington.  

Not only did Covington threaten to “kill Mexicans” he also beat both Luiz and Jose. Now, both suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  

Since 2019 the amount of Utah hate crimes has increased exponentially, the U.S. Department of Justice Reports.  

Categorized by biases, the DOJ looked at race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity. In 2019 there were a total of 18 hate crimes in the state. In 2021 there were 116 which was six times the amount in previous years. 

The bias motivation category with the highest number? Race/ethnicity/ancestry. These could be crimes against a person, property, or society. The DOJ reports that 45.5 percent are crimes against persons and 47 percent are against society in Utah. Only 7.5 percent fell into the crimes against society category.  

These hate crimes leave a psychological impact the American Psychological Association said. Issues like PTSD, depression, and anxiety have a direct correlation to hate crimes. The victims can also suffer from physical issues as well as mental issues because of hate crimes. 

Hate crimes don’t just concern one or a few people, they impact the entire community.  

There are several ways the DOJ suggests preventing hate crimes in communities and many of them involve educating law enforcement. In the right circumstances, law enforcement will be able to curb these hate crimes and also be able to protect AND inform the public.  

For a full list of DOJ tips click here.  


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