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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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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