Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

USA hate crimes rise for second straight year

Stock image depicting a crime scene with evidence markers FBI: Hate Crimes Increased by 4.6 Percent in 2016
Saul Franklin | 14 November, 2017, 00:24

The number of hate crimes reported to USA law enforcement in 2016 rose by 4.6 percent over the prior year, driven in part by upticks race-motivated incidents against whites and Hispanics, and religion-motivated incidents targeting Muslims and Jews, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data released Monday.

And Jews were targeted in more than half the 1,538 crimes that were motivated by religion - in the Bay Area, one of the most high-profile attacks was a swastika painted on Temple Sinai in Oakland on Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest Jewish days of the year.

The FBI's report was consistent with a report released earlier this year by a civil rights group that found an apparent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate groups this past year.

According to the agency's annual Hate Crime Statistics released Monday, 39 hate crimes were reported in the state in 2016, down five from 2015.

Nationally, there were more than 6,100 hate crimes in 2016, up about 5 percent over the previous year.

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It is crucial to note, however, while this is the most comprehensive report of hate crimes, it is still incomplete. The agency collects its data from participating law enforcement officials through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Anti-white incidents increased from 613 incidents in 2015 to 720 incidents in 2016.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit which tracks hate groups, attributed the bump to the 2016 presidential election, in which Donald Trump assailed Muslims and Hispanics as extremists and illegal immigrants. Crimes motivated by bias against Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians both declined.

San Francisco reported 28 hate crimes in 2015 to 37 hate crimes in 2016 and San Jose reported six to 19 in the same time period.

Maryland State Police report not just hate "crimes", but also "incidents", which could include things such as intimidation, which may not be considered a crime.

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