How does Rhode Island define a “hate crime”?
In Rhode Island, a hate crime is “any crime motivated by bigotry and bias, including, but not limited to threatened, attempted, or completed acts that appear after investigation to have been motivated by racial, religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or disability prejudice or motivated by prejudice against a person who is homeless or is perceived to be homeless” (R.I. Gen. Laws, § 42-28-46 (a)(2)). “Gender identity or expression” was added in 2012.
In order to track hate crimes, the State has set up a reporting system so that incidents alleged are centrally recorded (R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-28-46 (b)). All police departments within the state are required to have training on identifying, responding to and reporting hate crimes (R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-28.2-8.1), and must report monthly the occurrence of such crimes to the state police, who must maintain a permanent record of the offenses, categorized by community of occurrence, type of offense, and target (R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-28-46 (b)).