FBI Stats Show Rise in Hate Crimes Last Year

By Steve Neavling

Dozens of cities with more than 100,000 residents either reported zero hate crimes or did not submit their hate crime data, according toananalysis by the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights organization, which has called for better reporting. That's up about 5 percent from the year before.

Hate crimes in the United States increased by nearly five percent in 2016, when the country registered 6,121 acts of this type, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today.

The law center and other watchdog groups have blamed the spike in extremist groups and hate speech to the divisive presidential election previous year.

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There were eight reports of religion motivated hate crimes past year but zero reports of gender motivated hate crimes.

The yearly report is the most comprehensive accounting of hate crimes in the U.S. But authorities have long warned it is incomplete, in part because it is based on voluntary reporting by police agencies across the country. "They not only hurt one victim, but they also intimidate and isolate a victim's whole community and weaken the bonds of our society".

In incidents where the perpetrators were identified, the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that about 58% of crimes were motivated by the victims' race, ethnicity or ancestry.

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Anti-Jewish bias was the motivation cited in a little more than half of the 1,273 religion-related hate crimes. There were 307 crimes against Muslims in 2016, up from 257 in 2015, which at the time was the highest number since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Hate incidents increased from 203 in 2015 to 285 in 2016.

"No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, of how they worship", US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. Crimes motivated by gender identity-bias accounted for 124 incidents.

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