Data released this week by the FBI indicate an 11.6% increase in hate crimes between 2020 and 2021 in the U.S.
The FBI said incidents went from 8,120 in 2020 to 9,065 in 2021. A majority, 64.5% of victims, were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, the FBI said. The FBI said sexual-orientation bias was involved in 15.9% of reports. Religious bias was the cause of 14.1% of hate crimes.
Out of the nearly 9,000 cases, 310 involved multiple-bias hate crime incidents, the FBI said.
“Preventing, investigating and prosecuting hate crimes are top priorities for the Justice Department, and reporting is key to each of those priorities,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “The FBI’s supplemental report demonstrates our unwavering commitment to work with our state and local partners to increase reporting and provide a more complete picture of hate crimes nationwide. We will not stop here: We are continuing to work with state and local law enforcement agencies across the country to increase the reporting of hate crime statistics to the FBI.”
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Of the crimes against people, 43.2% were intimidation, 35.5% were simple assault, and 20.1% were aggravated assault. Additionally, 19 rapes and 18 murders were tied to hate crimes.
3,817 hate crime offenses were classified as crimes against property, mostly involving damage or vandalism.
The Department of Justice defines a hate crime as “a crime motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.”
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The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has a database of hate organizations in the U.S., previously noted the rise in hate crimes.
“Advocacy groups for both Muslim and Jewish American people reported a spike in hate crimes, harassment, bullying and discrimination,” the SPLC said. “In New York, reports of subway bias incidents that targeted Asian Americans increased 233% from 2020. The Human Rights Campaign called 2021 the deadliest year on record, documenting that at least 57 transgender and gender non-conforming people were killed in the U.S.”