FBI Reports U.S. Hate Crime is on the Rise

Hate crimes have spiked for the third year in a row.

The FBI released a report on Tuesday that showed hate crime in the U.S. rose about 17 percent in 2017 when compared to 2016.

There were 7,175 hate crimes in 2017 compared to the 6,121 incidents the previous year. The FBI pointed out that the number of law enforcement agencies reporting the crimes also increased by about 1,000.

The majority of incidents reported, 7,106, were “single-bias” hate-crimes, while 69 incidents stemmed from multiple biases. Of the “single-bias” incidents, there were 8,126 offenses, 8,493 victims and 6,307 known offenders. The data shows:

  • The offenses were most commonly motivated by hatred over race, ethnicity or ancestry, at a rate of 59.6 percent
  • 6 percent of the offenses were motivated by hatred over religion
  • 8 percent stemmed from sexual orientation bias
  • Bias over disability comprised 1.9 percent
  • Gender identity hatred comprised 1.6 percent, and gender bias .6 percent

About 5,000 of the offenses were considered crimes against persons. Those crimes included intimidation, assault, murder or rape. About 3,000 were categorized as crimes against property like vandalism, robbery or burglary.

Of the crimes motivated by race, ancestry or ethnicity, about 48.8 percent were against African Americans, 17.5 percent against whites and 10.9 percent were classified as anti-Latino or anti-Hispanic bias.

Of crimes motived by religion, 58.1 percent targeted the Jewish faith and 18.7 percent targeted Muslims, the report says.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker says he was particularly troubled by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes.

“The American people can be assured that this department has already taken significant and aggressive actions against these hate crimes that we will vigorously and effectively defend their rights,” Whitaker said in a statement.

The Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s Hate Crime Statistics Report shows incidents reported to the federal government by law enforcement agencies, reports CBS News.

The FBI says the data allows the public, research, community leaders and local government to raise awareness of the issue and gain a more accurate picture of hate crimes.

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Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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