WASHINGTON — Hate crime incidents reported to the FBI increased by about 17 percent last year compared to 2016, according to statistics released Tuesday by the FBI.
The statistics, which were released in the bureau’s annual “Hate Crime Statistics” report, are a compilation of bias-motivated incidents submitted to the FBI by 16,149 law enforcement agencies.
The report found that 7,175 hate crimes were reported by law enforcement agencies in 2017, up from 6,121 reported incidents in 2016. While the number has increased, the number of agencies reporting also increased by about 1,000.
Of the 7,106 single-bias hate crimes reported, 59.6 percent of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias; 15.8 percent were targeted because of sexual-orientation bias; 1.6 percent were targeted because of gender identity bias; and 0.6 percent were targeted because of gender bias. Sixty-nine multiple-bias hate crime incidents were also reported.
Notably, of the 1,679 religious bias crimes reported in 2017, 58.1 percent were anti-Jewish while 18.6 percent were anti-Muslim.
In a statement released Tuesday, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said the report “is a call to action — and we will heed that call.”
“The Department of Justice’s top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes,” the statement read.
“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. 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 statement read.