FBI: Reported Hate Crimes Increased by 17 Percent in 2017

Prejudice-motivated attacks have been rising for the past three years.


Image via Getty/Brendan Smialowski


The number of hate crimes in the U.S. increased for the third consecutive year, according to a new FBI report.

On Tuesday, the agency announced that reports of prejudice-motivated attacks rose from 6,121 in 2016 to 7,175 in 2017, marking a 17 percent spike. That figure is based on information provided by 16,149 law enforcement offices; the FBI notes the surge could be partly attributed to the 1,000 additional agencies that contributed data.

Racial, ethnic, and ancestry bias accounted for nearly 60 percent of U.S. hate crimes; religion and sexual orientation prejudices accounted for 20.6 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively. Other motivators included gender, gender identity, and disability. 69 multiple bias hate crimes were also reported in 2017.

According to the statistics, crimes against Latinos and American Indian or Alaska Native rose by 25 percent and 64 percent, respectively. Blacks remained the most frequently targeted race, accounting for 48.8 percent of all racially motivated hate crimes.

In regards to anti-religious hate crimes, those against Muslims decreased by about 10 percent, while those against Jews rose 37 percent. The latter figure is particularly notable as it was revealed just weeks after anti-Semitic gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people.

"I am particularly troubled by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes—which were already the most common religious hate crimes in the United States—that is well documented in this report," acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker told CNN. "The American people can be assured that this Department has already taken significant and aggressive actions against these crimes and that we will vigorously and effectively defend their rights."

The report marks the FBI's first calculation of hate crimes under Donald Trump's presidency. POTUS has faced continuous criticism for emboldening hate groups through racist, xenophobic rhetoric and his reluctance to disavow the white supremacists among his supporters.

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