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60% of Hate Crimes are Racially Motivated: FBI

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The majority of hate crime victims last year were targeted because of the offenders’ race, ethnicity, and/or ancestry bias, according to an FBI report released Tuesday.

The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program analyzed data collected in 2017 by 16,149 law enforcement agencies that included information about hate crime offenses, victims, offenders, and locations where such incidents happen.

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The report,  Hate Crime Statistics 2017,  classified 7,175 criminal incidents and 8,437 related offenses as being motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity.

About 21 percent of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias. Last month 46-year-old Robert Gregory Bowers was charged with 29 federal crimes in the aftermath of a mass shooting killed 11 people and injured six others during worship service at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

According to report, about 16 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ sexual-orientation bias,  and most hate crime incidents occurred in or near residences/homes, according to the report.

Though the FBI report adds a glimpse to hate crime in the United States, the report isn’t definitive on whether such crimes are rising or falling. A recent study found that even though hate crimes are surging globally—the United States included—they are drastically underreported as many victims believe their reports won’t be taken seriously by law enforcement and that police officers rather solve other crimes like robberies, murder, etc.

Furthermore, the FBI report yields incomplete data as reporting is voluntary and not all jurisdictions submitted data though nearly 1,000 more agencies reported in 2017 than the previous year.

The full report can be found here.

J. Gabriel Ware is a TCR News Intern.

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