(WMC-TV) – Memphis found itself at the top of another negative list. This time, for the number of hate crimes committed against gays and lesbians.
On this list, the Bluff City ranks first in the entire state of Tennessee.
Last summer, Action News 5's Jason Miles interviewed Jackie Lloyd of Memphis, who was assaulted at Celtic Crossing in Cooper Young by a man she says was motivated by hate.
"He called me a f------ lesbian. Problem solved you f------- lesbian," said Lloyd. "I was in complete shock, I didn't know what happened."
While there is no confirmation about whether that assault was investigated as a hate crime, new statistics from the FBI reveal that Memphis tops the list for the number of such crimes in the state.
According to the latest data from 2011, there were 16 crimes motivated by the victim's sexual orientation in Memphis, compared to five based on race, and one on ethnicity.
The numbers are significantly lower in the sexual orientation column in Nashville.
Statewide in Tennessee, Memphis makes up nearly half of the crimes in that category.
Aaron Ford is the FBI agent-in-charge for the Memphis office. He could not comment specifically on these stats or how they were compiled, but he said education is key in stopping hate crimes.
"We can do that through training with people in the community, you can start at home with the kids making them aware of tolerance, of all people," said Ford.
Tolerance – perhaps being the key to bringing the numbers down in 2012.