Hate crimes increased by 17% in 2017, Federal Bureau of Investigation report finds

Blanche Robertson
November 13, 2018

The number of hate crime incidents reported in the United States jumped by 17 percent past year, the largest increase since 2001 when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 fueled a surge in attacks on Americans of Muslim and Arab ancestry.

WASHINGTON - Antisemitic hate crimes have increased by 37% over the past year, according to data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation this week. About 5,000 of the incidents were listed as crimes against persons such as assault and intimidation.

The report showed a doubling of anti-Arab hate crimes and double-digit increase in anti-Semitic incidents.

"The Department of Justice's top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes", the statement read.

Of the 7,106 single-bias hate crimes reported, 59.6% of victims were targeted because of the offenders' race/ethnicity/ancestry bias; 20.6% were targeted because of sexual-orientation bias; 1.9% were targeted because of gender identity bias; and 0.6% were targeted because of gender bias. Still, the sheer number of reported hate crimes is appalling no matter how you slice the data.

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Notably, of the 1,679 religious bias crimes reported in 2017, 58.1% were anti-Jewish while 18.6% were anti-Muslim.

Several local police departments decline to report hate crimes to their federal counterparts. Anti-Arab hate crimes, though accounting for a fraction of all race-based hate crimes, doubled to 102 incidents.

The 2017 data was compiled from reports voluntarily submitted by 16,149 law enforcement agencies. Most - 78.3 percent - targeted individuals, while others targeted businesses, government entities or religious organizations.

The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes fell to 273 incidents from 314 incidents in 2016 but the level remained well above historic averages.In 2015 and 2016, anti-Muslim hate crimes increased by almost 90 percent, fueled by a backlash to terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States and anti-Muslim political rhetoric. At least 92 cities with large populations either didn't report any data or claimed zero hate crimes, he noted in a statement. The bureau received reports of 7,000 incidents previous year, 2,013 which targeted African-Americans and 1,130 which attacked individuals based on sexual orientation.

The report found the surge especially affected black and Jewish Americans. "They are also despicable violations of our core values as Americans", Whitaker said in a statement. A far-right street gang attacked people on both coasts, a supporter of President Donald Trump sent pipe bombs to numerous critics of the president, an avowed anti-Semite killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue, and a man with a history racist and misogynistic comments killed two women at a Florida yoga studio.

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