Hate Crimes in US Increased by Five Percent in 2016

By Steve Neavling

By Steve Neavling

Of those crimes past year, 25 were motivated by race, two by religion, and 12 by sexual orientation.

The FBI released its annual report on hate crime data for 2016, revealing that 4,229 single-bias hate crime offenses were done on the basis of race.

Minnesota reported 119 hate crimes past year, up from 109 in 2015.

Excluding a handful of "multiple bias" incidents, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said 57.5 percent of all incidents a year ago were based on hate related to race, ethnicity or ancestry.

Minnesota's 2016 figures come from just 10 percent of participating agencies statewide.

Of the departments that recorded a hate crime, the majority- 25 incidents, or 64 percent - occurred in Cobb County.

Crimes motivated by bias against sexual orientation accounted for 1,076 incidents reported.

In an interview with KTVU on Monday, Anti-Defamation League regional director Seth Brysk said that his organization noticed a "sharp increase" of hate during the presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump kicked off a year ago. "Hate crimes demand priority attention due to their special impact".

Trump repeatedly made comments during last year's campaign seen as disdainful toward blacks, Latinos, women and other groups. "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".

The FBI did not give a reason for a rise in reported hate crimes. In Maryland, such crimes declined from 43 in 2015 to 37 in 2016.

"No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, of how they worship", US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. Not all departments use the same system, Cobb said.

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