Hate Crimes Rose 17% a year ago

Former white supremacist on political climate

Hate crimes in the United States jumped 17 percent in 2017, with a spike in Islamophobic attacks and anti-Semitic incidents, marking the third year in a row that such attacks have increased, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data released on Tuesday.

Of the 7,106 single-bias hate crimes reported, 59.6% of victims were targeted because of the offenders' race/ethnicity/ancestry bias; 20.6% were targeted because of sexual-orientation bias; 1.9% were targeted because of gender identity bias; and 0.6% were targeted because of gender bias.

According to the report, released Tuesday, law enforcement agencies reported a total of 456 hate crimes in MI in 2017. The report comes two weeks after a white supremacist killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, renewing a national debate over rising hate crime and calls for the Trump administration to do more to stem its tide.

Acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker said the figures will be an impetus to action. "They are also despicable violations of our core values as Americans".

Participation tables from the years 2015 through 2017 show a steady increase in the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate crime statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The number of reported racially motivated hate crimes jumped by 14 percent from 2016 to 2017, with 4,832 crimes reported with the 2017 data versus 4,229 reported for 2016.

More than half of the reported hate crimes in 2017 were motivated by bias against a person's race or ethnicity, according to the report.

"This is the third year where we witness an increase in reported incidents of hate targeted at our most vulnerable populations". Crimes of antisemitism led the spike. The FBI said there were 2,013 hate crimes against African-Americans, a 16 percent increase.

In his statement, Mr Whitaker said: "The Department of Justice's top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes".

There were 1,130 reported incidents targeting people due to their sexual orientation, including 679 anti-gay hate crimes, a small increase compared to 2016. There were 31 anti-Semitic hate crimes reported in the first 28 days of October in the city, compared to 9 for the same period in 2017, a New York Police Department spokesman said.

The Anti-Defamation League's own annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents for 2017, which includes both criminal and non-criminal acts, found that anti-Semitic incidents rose 57 percent in 2017, the largest single year increase on record and the second highest reported since ADL started to keep track in 1979. About 5,000 of the incidents were listed as crimes against persons such as assault and intimidation.

Religious-based hate crimes, in general, rose by nine percent from 2016 to 2017, encompassing reported attacks against 14 subcategories of different faiths, including a category for attacks against Atheist and Agnostic individuals.

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