FBI report points to continued rise in American hate crimes

(Photo: Daniel Terrill/Guns.com)

(Photo: Daniel Terrill/Guns.com)

Hate crimes in America rose by about 5 percent in 2016, according to data released by the FBI on Monday.

There were 6,121 hate crimes in the U.S. last year, up from 5,850 the year before, according to the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics, 2016. More than 15,000 law enforcement agencies provided data for the report.

About 58 percent of the hate crimes were motivated by race, with about half the incidents targeting black Americans. Hate crimes targeting Arabs rose by about 38 percent, while crimes targeting whites and Latinos rose by about 17 percent and 15 percent respectively. Hate crimes against black people  declined by 3 offenses from 2015 to 2016.

Twenty-one percent of hate crimes in 2016 were motivated by religion. Fifty-four percent of these incidents were anti-Jewish, and 25 percent were anti-Muslim. Anti-Jewish incidents rose by 3 percent, while anti-Muslim incidents rose by 20 percent.

Nearly 18 percent of the hate crime incidents in 2016 were a result of sexual-orientation bias. As many as 62 percent of those hate crimes targeted gay men. Additionally, there were 105 incidents against transgender people last year, a rise of 44 percent from the year before.

Of the 7,615 overall hate crime victims in 2016, 4,720 of them were against people. The rest were crimes against property and crimes against society. Most of the crimes came in the form of intimidation, assault, or vandalism. In all, nine murders and 24 rapes were reported as hate crimes.

Most hate crimes, about 27 percent, happened at residences. The second most common place for a hate crime last year was on or near roadways, suggesting road rage was a factor.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement.