Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) in 2009, HRC has worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to update the agency's crime reporting, from providing training materials to sharing details on hate crimes when they occur. And while the number of jurisdictions reporting hate crimes data increased to 15,251 in 2016 from 14,997 in 2015, this is still less than the 15,494 agencies that reported in 2014.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), an organization that tracks hate-crime and discrimination, said the rise in hate crimes "coincides with Donald Trump's racist, xenophobic campaign and its immediate aftermath". That data shows the national average for reported hate crimes was about 2.1 per 100,000 people.
"If law-enforcement agencies fail to document the true extent of hate crimes against our communities, our nation will have a hard time mobilizing the political will and resources necessary to prevent and combat the problem", Singh said in a statement. "Several of these hate crimes occurred after the election in Berkeley against Muslim Americans, and businesses and individuals of all backgrounds have been the target of harassment". This was a more than19% rise from the previous year.
Only 18 of those agencies said they investigated hate crimes in the past year. More than 1,500 were motivated by religious bias.
Other police department's may not be this attentive in classifying incidents as hate crimes under the FBI's system.
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It's widely acknowledged that the FBI's system of tracking hate crimes needs improvement. And what's classified as a hate crime is up to each local police department. More than half of the incidents were motivated by the victim's race, ethnicity or ancestry.
Even so, the yearly report provides a look at patterns in hate crimes throughout the country.
Of the hate crimes reported in South Dakota, six were based on a victim's race or ethnicity, five were based on sexual orientation and three were based on a victim's disability. Hate crimes against black people declined by 3 offenses from 2015 to 2016. "Hate crimes demand priority attention due to their special impact".
The FBI's full 2016 hate crimes report can be accessed here.
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