Hate Crimes and Bias-based Incidents

The Tucson Police Department is committed to ensuring that victims of crimes have ready access to reporting opportunities and that suspected crimes are promptly and appropriately investigated. The Tucson Police Department accepts direct reports, in addition to anonymous and third party reports of suspected hate crimes and bias-based incidents.

Arizona Revised Statutes do not include a stand-alone criminal violation for hate crimes. Instead, ARS 13-701 provides an option for enhanced sentencing when sufficient evidence exists that a defendant committed a felony crime while motivated by either:

  • Bias towards the victim’s identity in a group listed in ARS 41-1750, or
  • The defendant’s perception of a victim’s identity in a group listed in ARS 41-1750

Bias Definitions

  1. Improper Bias: A pre-formed negative opinion or attitude motivated by prejudice about the perceived race, color, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, political affiliation or beliefs, membership or activity in or on behalf of a labor organization or against a labor organization, physical or mental handicap, age, economic or social status, or citizenship of the victim (this is not an all-inclusive list).
  2. Bias-based Incidents: A bias-based incident is an incident that is motivated in whole or in part by a subject’s improper bias, but is lacking information to support reasonable suspicion or probable cause for a criminal violation (e.g., statements using racial slurs/hate remarks without commission of a suspected crime). Bias-based incidents often involve constitutionally protected expression that has not crossed a line into criminal conduct.
  3. Hate Crime: A hate crime is a criminal offense against a person or property that is motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s improper bias or the offender’s improper bias against the perceived race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity of the victim. The expression of improper bias or hate in and of itself is not a crime, and the Tucson Police Department is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties for all community members.

If you have an EMERGENCY, or the crime you want to report is happening RIGHT NOW, do NOT use this form; dial 9-1-1 on your telephone (this online system is not monitored continuously). If you would like to report a Biased-based Incident or Hate Crime please click the link below.

Bias Incident/Hate Crime Reporting

Safe Place

For more information on Biased-based incidents you can also contact the Southern Arizona Hate Crimes Task Force.