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U.S. hate crimes rose during fierce 2016 election, Federal Bureau of Investigation stats show

13 November 2017

Of the 6,121 criminal incidents reported, 6,063 were single-bias incidents (there were also 58 multiple-bias incidents).

About 62 percent were against gay men, while roughly 20 percent "were prompted by an anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (mixed group) bias". In 2015 and 2016, that number was driven by crimes against people due to their race or ethnicity.

These agencies provided from one to 12 months' worth of data about bias-motivated crime, and of those agencies, 1,776 reported one or more incidents.

A report from the federal agency indicated that this number represents an increase of 4.6 percent, compared to 2015, when 5,850 crimes motivated by prejudices related to race, religion, sexuality, national origin or disability were reported, among others.

These numbers correlate with the NCAVP's recent report. 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.

Former FBI director James B. Comey, speaking earlier this year after a series of threats targeting Jewish schools and community centers, acknowledged as much, saying that the bureau needs "to do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime, to fully understand what is happening in our communities, and how to stop it".

In short, hate crimes can and do happen just about anywhere.

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. Of the incidents spurred by hatred of a particular religion, anti-Semitism was again the leading cause, motivating about 55 percent of those episodes, followed by anti-Muslim sentiment, which spurred about 25 percent.

The findings are consistent with a February report by a civil rights group that found the number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the country had increased over the past year. Incidents targeting Muslims rose 19 percent from 257 to 307 incidents. Crimes motivated by gender identity-bias accounted for 124 incidents.

U.S. hate crimes rose during fierce 2016 election, Federal Bureau of Investigation stats show