Is it considered a hate crime if a car full of people follows you and yells slurs?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it considered a hate crime if a car full of people follows you and yells slurs?

The car contained 8 to 9 people that were not associated with me in any way. The
car followed me while I was on a bike until I was able to turn down an
inaccessible bike pathway. The people in the car yelled homophobic and
transphobic slurs.

Asked on January 29, 2019 under Criminal Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Insults are not a crime--even horrible, heinous insults. The law does not mandate civility or respect. If you were threatened with violence due to your sexual and gender identity, that would be a hate crime, since a threat of violance is a crime (often called, in many states, "making a terrroristic threat") and the fact that it is motivated by discrimination makes it hate crime...but just being insulted or having slurs shouted at you is not criminal, and so not a hate crime.

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