Spike in US Hate Crimes for Third Consecutive Year, Says FBI Report
LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– Hate crimes in the US rose by 17 percent in 2017, the third straight year that incidents of bias-motivated attacks have grown, a Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report says.
Law enforcement agencies reported 7,175 hate crimes last year compared with 6,121 in 2016.
The rise in hate crimes is attributed to an increase of about 1,000 police departments that are now choosing to report these incidents, the FBI says.
The report found the surge especially affected black and Jewish Americans.
Of the reported attacks in 2017, 2,013 were aimed at African Americans and 938 were against Jewish Americans.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker called the report a “call to action” and condemned the offences as “despicable violations of our core values as Americans”.
What did the report find?
59.6% of incidents were motivated by bias against race, ethnicity or ancestry.
Crimes motivated by a victim’s religion constituted 20.6% of attacks, and crimes against a person’s sexual orientation made up 15.8%.
The FBI definition of a hate crime is a “criminal offence against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity”.
The 2017 data notes that about 5,000 of the crimes were directed against people through intimidation or assault.
Around 3,000 were targeted at property, which includes vandalism or burglary.
Crimes against Sikhs, Hindus and Arabs were not counted prior to 2015.
Crimes against Jewish Americans saw a notable increase of 37% over 2016.
Jews have long been the highest targeted religion, as the acting attorney general noted in his statement.
The new report comes a month after 11 Jews were killed by a gunman that burst into their synagogue in Pittsburgh as they prayed, marking the deadliest attack against Jews in US history. The suspect was charged with dozens of federal hate crimes.
Crimes against African Americans constituted 2,013 crimes, marking a 16% increase over the previous year.
SOURCE: BBC NEWS