The term ‘hate crime' is a misnomer. There's hate in all crimes. The correct way to identify hate crimes is ‘identity-motivated criminality.' The criminal is substantially driven by the identity of the victim. If that's a peripheral motivation, you don't have a hate crime. A racial epithet uttered during a mugging doesn't count. In a mugging, the primary motivation is getting your money.
Last year, we had 324 hate-crime cases in the city of New York. The number one type here is anti-Semitic—there were 112 cases. Mostly swastikas painted on synagogues. Number two is antigay crime. We had 62. Those are normally assaults or a verbal assault with a threat. Antiblack, we had about 23. And then you have antiwhite. We had 19 last year.
Many people misinterpret a crime that happens to them as a hate crime, but the statute won't accept it. Nonthreatening hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. A person can say very offensive things, and the Supreme Court will rule against it being a hate crime.
CAPT. MICHAEL OSGOOD,
HATE CRIMES DIVISION, NYPD Photos: Glynnis McDaris
Photo assistant: Mike Spears
Assisting: Kareth Whitchurch
Stylist: Signe Yberg
Makeup: Jillian Chaitin for Tarte
Printing: Pochron Studios
I grew up homeless on the streets of Vancouver in the late 70s, where I was always seeing street kids get beaten up by suburban kids because of their poverty and lifestyle. I was directly confronted with intense hatred of women when I was twelve years old. This pimp named Roman hated women but had huge respect for drag queens. He always told me he was going to kill me if I didn't start working for him, and then one night he jumped out of a car in front of me and beat my head in with a tire iron. I was taken to the hospital and was unable to stand up for the entire following month because of all the blood I lost. I also have numerous scars from getting stabbed by Roman. I moved to New York in '88 and starting acting in B horror movies. I've been in over 100, and I think all that hate I endured back then helps me act in these films.
Not a hate crime. That just sounds like a typical pimp.
T-shirt by Energie; sweater by A. Cheng; jeans by Diesel; shoes by Kristin Lee
In December 1998, I was sitting at the back of a bus on my way to finals at the University of Washington. I had headphones on. I saw two black teenagers sitting in front of me, and they kept looking back at me. I turned down my music and heard one of them say, "faggot…let's just do this." I got up to move to the front, but they grabbed me and then one of the kids socked me in the eye. He had a big ring on, and it cut open my face pretty badly. I had blood pouring out of my head and no one did anything. The bus driver just stopped at the next stop and let the kids who did it get off. Only later did the driver offer to call an ambulance. Two years later my nose began to collapse, and the doctors said it was because of the punch in the face. I had to get a nose job.
Classic hate crime.
Jacket by Fubu; belt by Energie; shoes by Converse
I was raised as a Hare Krishna, wearing a traditional monk's robe called a dohti, with a shaved head and everything. When I was twelve, I had my robe ripped off on two separate occasions, once in San Diego by a group of frat kids and once in the Denver financial district. I was wearing only an Indian loincloth called a kopin underneath, so it was a pretty humiliating experience. Then in the late 80s my family and I received death threats from a local group of Hell's Angels. One of our neighbors even built these elaborate dioramas in his window of pythons swallowing figurines of Hare Krishnas.
That's a hate crime.
Jacket, shirt and T-shirt by Yoko Devereaux; cords by Levi’s
We began attending Harvey Milk, the country's first all-gay high school, during the same year. That's where we got together. Besides the barrage of verbal abuse and projectile beverages we undergo daily for being open about our homosexuality, the most hurtful pressure comes from family members. When we were separated against our will in 2002, Janine made an attempt on her own life and was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital. Her father was livid at seeing me there, coming to see my girlfriend, and he threw me across the hospital room. All of this makes us very hesitant to show how much in love and proud of it we are.
It sucks, but it's also more of an "asshole dad" crime than a hate crime.
Mallory: Sweater by Fake London; sneakers by Converse
Janine: Jumpsuit by Diesel; T-shirt by Sass + Bide
Two years ago myself and a friend of mine, who is also transgender, were in Long Island. We were passing by a bar when this group of people out front began chanting, "Faggot." My friend just said, "Assholes," and they starting throwing bottles at us. Then they chased us. We lost them, but I was completely terrified. I feel really fortunate it didn't end in serious injury.
A cunt-hair away from a hate crime.
Coat and skirt by Miss Sixty; shirt by Built By Wendy; boots from Payless
Since I have kind of an ambiguous background when you look at me, I've been called everything from "nigger" to "dyke"! I was walking my dog in Newton, Massachusetts, soon after 9-11, when a van full of teenage guys drove by and screamed, "Towelhead!" Then they swung back around again and threw a huge cup full of piss on me.
Piss = hate crime.
Jacket by Schiele; T-shirt by Surface to Air; pants by G-star
Growing up in Harlem, I experienced extensive black-on-black discrimination because of my relatively light skin. I was thought of as "high yellow." Once, when I was in college, I was getting out of a car at my apartment building when two guys from the neighborhood attacked me and my friend with knives and a sawed-off shotgun. They put the gun to my head and kept shouting, "Ms. Lily White" and "Lighty Lighty Miss Whitey" while attempting to muscle the car keys from my friend. I've even received verbal abuse from other grown women when my son was with me. I now work in affirmative-action rights and community activism. Hopefully I can do some part to patch things up in my community.
A hate crime.
Cardigan by Charles Chang Lima; hat by Diesel
In October 2003, I was at my local bodega getting Diet Coke and pretzels. I was cornered while in the grocery by a group of teens calling me "faggot" and demanding that I buy them chips. It became clear that they wanted to fight, no matter what, so I decided to forgo the snacks and leave. They surrounded me and blocked the exit. I decided the best defense is a good offense, so I took the first swing and then ran. The pack caught up to me on 115th Street, where I fell on my elbow. They proceeded to beat and kick me, keeping me on the ground. I tried to fight back by focusing each punch on one of the group members. Eventually I became numb to the pain, and I guess the boys got tired. I had two black eyes and a severely swollen face, and my spine was injured, so I was in extreme pain for the next month and a half, which made my arm virtually immobile. I'm still embarrassed by the whole thing.
If they had made him buy the chips, it wouldn't qualify. As it was: vintage hate crime.
T-shirt by Leftfield; jeans by Diesel; belt and boots by D Squared