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This Georgia city had the most reported hate crimes last year, GBI report shows

African Americans were targeted most frequently, data shows.

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says there were more than 200 hate crimes reported in the state last year – the first report since the state enacted a new hate crimes law.  

The report also indicates that while hate crimes take place regularly in Georgia – police are still struggling with how to report them.

The GBI report said the DeKalb County city of Brookhaven reported the most hate crimes of any police jurisdiction in 2021.

A fact that surprised Deputy Police Chief Brandon Gurley.  

"The number was higher than I would have expected to hear," Gurley said.

The GBI reports Brookhaven led the state with 21 hate crimes last year.

Gurley said an analysis done after 11Alive contacted Brookhaven Police Department shows the number is actually seven. 

He added patrol officers frequently checked a "bias-motivated" box on police reports when they observed incidental racist behavior during calls for service.

"One case was a shoplifting case," Gurley said.  "And the individual was not happy about going to jail, called our officer every name in the book, every racist name in the book, and we selected the bias-motivated box incorrectly in filling out that report."  

The shoplifting case was listed as a hate crime in the GBI report, Gurley said.

A crime targeting victims because of their status is considered a hate crime. See the numbers in detail at the end of this story.

With this insight, it's important to note the GBI reported 224 hate crimes across Georgia in 2021 – averaging about two hate crimes every three days statewide.

Cobb County law enforcement reported the most with 33 hate crimes in its 5 police jurisdictions. Data shows 43% of the statewide total were in six core metro counties  -- Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Forsyth and Gwinnett.

Hall, Coweta and Thomas Counties also reported double-digit numbers last year. Meantime, the cities of Augusta, Savannah and Macon reported no hate crimes.

The report shows the largest percentage of hate crimes reported were anti-Black – almost three times as many as anti-white crimes. Six percent were anti-Latino, GBI data shows.

Around 21 percent targeted sexual orientation or sexual identity; About 7 percent singled out religion or atheism.

Gurley said the numbers still have value – if they’re reported accurately.

Below are the numbers of hate crimes reported in 2021 in jurisdictions across Georgia; the counties listed include police jurisdictions within them.

33 in Cobb County

26 in Fulton County

26 in DeKalb County

8 in Forsyth County

7 in Clayton County

6 in Gwinnett County

1 in Clarke County

1 in the City of Bremen

4 in Bulloch County

5 in Cherokee County

2 in Carroll County

6 in Clayton County

2 in Muscogee County

10 in Coweta County

1 in Crisp County

8 in Forsyth County

13 in Hall County

6 in Glynn County

8 in Gordon County

3 in Spalding County

1 in Hart County

6 in Paulding County

1 in the City of Jackson

3 in Troup County

1 in Lumpkin County

1 in the City of Madison

1 in McIntosh County

1 in the City of Metter

3 in Newton County

2 in Oglethorpe County

2 in Fayette County

6 in Floyd County

3 in Pulaski County

1 in Rabun County

1 in Rockdale County

1 in the City of Rockmart

1 in the City of Temple

11 in the City of Thomasville

1 in Twiggs County

1 in Union County

1 in the City of Dahlonega

2 in Walker County

3 in Whitfield County

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