Hate Crimes Increased by 4.6 Percent in 2016

The FBI's annual hate crime statistics, released Monday, showed there were 6,121 hate crime incidents in 2016, up 4.6 percent from 5,850 in 2015.

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

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

The latest statistics are based on voluntary reporting from almost 16,000 United States law enforcement agencies.

Experts caution there is a big caveat with Federal Bureau of Investigation data: It's based on voluntary reporting from more than 15,000 police agencies across the country.

Six police departments reported a hate crime in 2016, including Atlanta, Conyers, the University of Georgia, along with Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett County police.

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These numbers correlate with the NCAVP's recent report.

Crimes motivated by a religious bias were the second-most reported type of hate crime. A report from the department's hate crimes task force is due next year, but Mr. Sessions noted noted other steps being taken in the meantime - highlighting the DOJ's decision to appoint a prosecutor from the civil rights division to assist prosecution of a man accused of killing a transgender teenager.

"No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe or how they worship", he said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit which tracks hate groups, attributed the bump to the 2016 presidential election, in which Donald Trump assailed Muslims and Hispanics as extremists and illegal immigrants.

Anti-Catholic crimes also increased by 9 incidents.

The latest overall figure included sharper spikes in hate crimes targeting several minority groups. No reported crimes were motivated by a disability, gender or gender identity.

  • Sonia Alvarado