FBI Stats Show Rise in Hate Crimes Last Year

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The latest overall figure included sharper spikes in hate crimes targeting several minority groups.

The number of hate crimes in 2016 was 6,121 - about a 5% jump from 2015. The majority of racial hate crimes, about 50 percent, were "anti-Black or African American", while about one-in-five were "anti-White", and one-tenth were "anti-Hispanic or Latino".

Hate crimes in Maryland, however, have decreased 14 percent, according to the data.

The law center and other watchdog groups have blamed the spike in extremist groups and hate speech to the divisive presidential election past 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. "Police departments that do not report credible data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation risk sending the message that this is not a priority issue for them, which may threaten community trust in their ability and readiness to address hate violence". "They not only hurt one victim, but they also intimidate and isolate a victim's whole community and weaken the bonds of our society", said ADL chief Jonathan A. Greenblatt.

Crimes were also committed against victims due to their religion or sexual orientation. The number of participating agencies also varies from year to year. In Maryland, such crimes declined from 43 in 2015 to 37 in 2016.

Minnesota reported 119 hate crimes previous year, up from 109 in 2015. Anti-white incidents increased from 613 incidents in 2015 to 720 incidents in 2016.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", Mr. Sessions said. Crimes motivated by gender identity-bias accounted for 124 incidents.