Report Hate Crimes

Hate Crimes HOTLINE       305.604.2110


D e f i n i n g  H a t e  C r i m e s

The Human Rights Campaign describes a Hate Crime as a crime which occurs when the perpetrator of a crime intentionally selects a victim because of who the victim is.  Florida State Statute 775.085 (Prejudice While Committing Crimes) defines biases as race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, mental / physical disability or advanced age.  There is Federal Law that protects the same, which now includes the James Byrd Jr. & Matthew Shepard Act.

As of October 1, 2010 the statue now includes Homeless as a prejudice.

Hate Crimes seriously threaten our society, which is built on the strength of its diversity.

 E d u c a t i o n

A Police Officer in the State of Florida CANNOT charge anyone with FSS 775.085 nor can they write a report with this statute.  The law reclassifies the crime.  For example, if a misdemeanor battery occurs in which the victim was targeted because of one of the aforementioned biases and an arrest is made, the officer will charge a misdemeanor battery and all supporting documents will be written the same.  In all reports the officer will note why this is a Hate Crime.  After reviewing the incident and determining that a Hate Crime was committed, the State Attorney’s Office will upgrade the crime one level as follows:

3rd degree misdemeanor           reclassified as  a          2nd degree misdemeanor

2nd degree misdemeanor          reclassified as a           1st degree misdemeanor

1st degree misdemeanor           reclassified as a           3rd degree felony

3rd degree felony                      reclassified as a           2nd degree felony

nd degree felony                    reclassified as a           1st degree felony

1st degree felony                      reclassified as a           Life Felony

Again on Officer in the State of Florida CANNOT charge anyone with a Federal Crime.

 M B P D’s  H a t e  C r i m e  P o l i cy

The Department views all Hate Crimes as major and possibly organized acts which are given the highest investigative priority possible to ensure rapid apprehension of all persons involved. The Department will work closely with all supporting agencies to ensure that the crime committed will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

 H a t e  C r i m e s  H o t l i n e 305.604.2110

The Department created a Hate Crimes Hotline.  If anyone believes they have been the victim of a Hate Crime, it is important that it is reported immediately.  If the crime is in progress, call 911 immediately and report it.  If it is after the fact, the caller can leave a message and someone will return the call as soon as possible.  The Hotline is monitored by the Media Relations Office and is set up to make notifications immediately after a message is left.  All efforts will be made to assist the caller with their report and facilitate communications with the Detective assigned to the case.

  H o w  D o  W e  C o m b a t  H a t e  C r i m e s?

Immediately report the crime.

Follow through with your complaint.

Filing a report is not enough; as the victim, you must follow up with the Detective and State Attorney assigned to your case.

Educate your family and friends about Hate Crimes

Call 911 immediately if you witness a crime

 P r o t e c t i n g  Y o u r s e l f

  • Walk confidently, quickly and directly
  • Stay in well lit areas and avoid walking in shadows
  • Stay on well traveled streets
  • Avoid shortcuts through parking lots, alleys and/or parks
  • Beaches & parks are closed and not routinely patrolled after dark
  • If you think you are being followed
    • Switch directions
    • Cross the street
    • Walk into any open business or where there is a group of people


  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your home or car
  • Don’t respond to verbal taunts from anyone
  • Don’t be brave – run if you feel threatened
  • Report any suspicious activity or crime immediately


We must be committed about “creating a generation of peacemakers”… which means understanding and respecting differences…..