A number of federal and state laws define particular acts as hate or bias crimes and incidents as a means of protecting select victim groups. General definitions agree that such actions are motivated in whole or in part by the perpetrator's hatred or bias toward the victim's perceived group affiliation. Groups that are recognized under federal law for protection include those targeted for violence on account of race, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. Some states include other victim categories targeted because of physical disability, skin color, creed, ancestry, mental disability, and gender. Hatred or bias is not always manifested in physical harm to individuals but also includes threats, harassment, intimidation, and creation of hostile environments. Sometimes hatred or bias toward individuals and communities ...

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