Put Another Hate Crime on the Books?

While the Sept. 4 burning of lesbian couple Carol Ann and Laura Stutte's house in Vonore has yet to be officially classified a hate crime, if it is, it will join a substantial number of other Hate Bias Offenses now being tracked by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. No one's claiming all hate crimes are reported or correctly categorized, nor will they ever be, but the Tennessee-wide statistics from TBI's Hate Crime 2009 report are still fairly illuminating. A few quick facts from 2009:

• The 359 Hate Bias Offenses reported represented .06 percent of total offenses reported in the Crime in Tennessee Report 2009.

• Racial Bias Offenses represented 27.6 percent of all reported Hate Bias Offenses.

• Anti-African American Bias Offenses represented 68.7 percent of the Racial Bias total.

• 19.8 percent of all Hate Bias Offenses occurred between 6 p.m.-8:59 p.m.; 45.7 percent occurred at a residence

• Males were the victim in 51 percent of the Hate Bias Offenses; the most frequent victim age range was 25-34, at 20.9 percent.