A hate crime is when someone commits a crime for a biased reason. This includes:
- National origin
- LGBTQ status
- Gender identity
- Physical or mental disability
Call 911 or your local police station if you are the victim of a hate crime or witness to a hate crime. Ask to file a police report, and tell the responding police officers why you believe the crime was hate-motivated. For example, what words, actions, symbols, or other indicators accompanied the offense? Make sure to collect evidence like:
- Witness phone numbers and addresses
Examples of hate crimes
Hate crimes can include:
- Disorderly Conduct
- Mob Action
- Damage to property
Reporting hate crimes and other resources
The Illinois Attorney General Hate Crime Report/Civil Rights hotline (877) 581-3692: Anyone in the state of Illinois can call this hotline for help with hate crimes.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office hotline (773) 674- 4357: call this hotline to report a hate crime if you live in Cook County. Those who call this hotline will receive a direct response from the sheriff’s office. They will help connect callers to sheriff’s detectives and other groups such as legal aid.
The Chicago Police Department’s Civil Rights Unit 911: This unit looks into reports of hate crimes in Chicago.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Hate Crime Project (312) 202-3663: Contact this organization if you want free legal help with a hate crime in Chicago, including an attorney to help you navigate the criminal court process or to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator.
Updated: December 2017