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Hate Crimes Rose 17 Percent Last Year, According to New FBI Stats

Rescue personnel help an injured woman after a car ran into a large group of protesters after an white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

WASHINGTON — The FBI reported in new statistics today, with more law enforcement agencies voluntarily contributing figures to the Bureau, that hate crimes rose 17 percent nationwide in 2017.

It’s the third annual increase in a row for hate crimes overall.

There were 7,106 single-bias incidents reported involving 8,493 victims, while 69 multiple-bias hate crime incidents involved 335 victims.

The FBI found that 59.6 percent of victims were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, 20.6 percent were targeted because of religion, 15.8 percent were victimized because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, 1.9 percent were victimized because of a mental or physical disability, 1.6 percent were targeted because of gender identity, and 0.6 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ gender bias.

Hate crimes on the basis of race or ethnicity targeted blacks 48.6 percent of the time — a 16 percent increase from the previous year — while 17.1 percent were targeted for being white and 10.9 percent were targeted for being Hispanic.

The majority of crimes against the victim’s faith were anti-Semitic, constituting 58.1 percent of reported incidents; there were 37 percent more crimes targeting Jews reported in 2017 than the previous year. Muslims were targeted in 18.6 percent of religion-driven hate crimes, while Catholics were targeted in 4.3 percent and Protestants were targeted in 2.3 percent. Bias against Eastern Orthodox and Sikhs was cited in 1.5 percent of cases.

Of the sexual orientation crimes, the FBI said 2.8 percent were targeted for being heterosexual while the rest were targets of anti-gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender bias.

Out of the offenses, 5,084 were classified as crimes against people. These included 44.9 percent intimidation cases, 34.3 percent for simple assault, and 19.5 percent for aggravated assault. The FBI also reported 23 rapes, 15 murders, and one offense of human trafficking classified as a hate crime.

And 3,115 hate crime offenses were crimes against property, with 74.6 percent of those being vandalism or destruction. Other crimes included arson, burglary and auto theft.

An additional 238 hate crimes were classified as crimes against society, such as prostitution and drug violations.

Of the 6,370 known offenders, whether the suspect was arrested or at large, 50.7 percent were white, 21.3 percent were black, 0.8 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.7 percent were Asian, less than one-tenth of 1 percent were Pacific Islander, and 7.5 percent were of a group of multiple races. The race of the offender was unknown for 19.1 percent of the reported crimes.

Of the 4,895 known offenders for whom ages were known, 83 percent were adults.

More than a quarter of hate crimes occurred at or near residences, while 17 percent occurred on streets or sidewalks, 10.5 percent occurred at schools/colleges, 5.8 percent happened in parking lots or garages, and 4.1 percent took place in churches, synagogues, temples or mosques.

The Uniform Crime Reporting Hate Crime Statistics Program included 16,149 participating law enforcement agencies last year, up from 15,254 agencies in 2016. Out of those, 12.6 percent reported hate crimes to the FBI for 2017. States have various definitions of hate crimes.