Hate Crimes Rise For The Second Consecutive Year

Stock image depicting a crime scene with evidence markers

Hate crimes in the United States rose moderately past year, with hate-motivated incidents against several target groups, including Arabs, Muslims and transgender people, showing sharper increases, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Agencies across the state also reported 21 incidents motivated by a victim's religion; 26 related to sexual orientation; and two related to gender identity.

"It's deeply disturbing to see hate crimes increase for the second year in a row", said Jonathan Greenblatt, national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. About half of those incidents were motivated by race, the agency says.

The 4.6 percent increase over the previous year reflects a growing trend in hate crimes during and following the election of President Donald Trump, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, with many incidents reported by Muslims, blacks and Jews as well as LGBT people.

The bureau has been tracking hate crime data since 1992.

Hate crimes happened in a variety of locations. And hate crimes over religion remained flat.

The FBI's annual report is the most comprehensive accounting of hate crimes in the United States, but authorities warn that it is incomplete. Furthermore, hate crimes are generally underreported to police. Crimes motivated by anti-Hispanic bias increased from 299 to 344 incidents during that time, anti-Native American bias increased from 131 to 154 incidents, and anti-Arab bias increased from 37 to 51. Over half of the religion-related offences were anti-Jewish, while a quarter were anti-Muslim. A report from the department's hate crimes task force is due next year, but Mr. Sessions noted noted other steps being taken in the meantime - highlighting the DOJ's decision to appoint a prosecutor from the civil rights division to assist prosecution of a man accused of killing a transgender teenager.

In an interview with KTVU on Monday, Anti-Defamation League regional director Seth Brysk said that his organization noticed a "sharp increase" of hate during the presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump kicked off a year ago.

"No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, of how they worship", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement on Monday. Incidents targeting Muslims rose 19 percent from 257 to 307 incidents.

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