Hate crimes overall climb 4.6 percent

13 November, 2017, 22:24 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • FBI: Hate crimes went up last year in the US

Former FBI Director James Comey said earlier this year that the FBI must "do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime, to fully understand what is happening in our communities and how to stop it". About 20 percent of the victims were singled out because of religious bias, and a lot of them were anti-Jewish attacks.

While the data provides a way to compare annual hate crime statistics, the number of actual hate crime incidents is believed to drastically under reported, according to advocacy groups.

"Hate crimes can and do happen just about anywhere", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in releasing the data. The two largest percentages of hate crime incidents took place in or near residences (27.3 percent) and on or near some type of roadway (18.4 percent).

"Anti-Black or African American bias" still make up the overwhelming cases of racial hate crimes in America. The remaining incidents were perpetrated at a variety of other locations, including schools and houses of worship, commercial and government buildings, restaurants and nightclubs, parking lots and garages, playgrounds and parks, and even medical facilities.

The FBI report, which collects information on the offenders in the hate crimes tallied a year ago, found that the largest share - 46 percent - were white.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is now engaging with state and local leaders and to find ways to better prevent and prosecute hate crimes. In the meantime, Session said, the department can continue to aggressively prosecute people who violate the civil rights of others.

"There's a risky disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported", said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt, who called for an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to address underreporting.

Incidents targeting Jews increased from 664 incidents in 2015 to 684 incidents in 2016.

Anti-Catholic crimes also increased by 9 incidents. "They strike at the heart of one's identity - they strike at our sense of self, our sense of belonging".

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