US hate crimes rise for second straight year: FBI

Community members take part in a protest to demand stop hate crime in the Queens borough of New York City, on Aug 15, 2016.
Community members take part in a protest to demand stop hate crime in the Queens borough of New York City, on Aug 15, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The number of hate crimes committed in the United States rose in 2016 for the second consecutive year, with African-Americans, Jews and Muslims targeted in many of the incidents, the FBI said on Monday (Nov 13) in an annual report. 

There were 6,121 hate crime incidents recorded last year, an almost 5 per cent rise from 2015 and a 10 per cent increase from 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Hate Crimes Statistics report said. It did not give a reason for the rise. 

Black Americans were targeted in about half the 3,489 incidents based on race, ethnicity or ancestry, the report said, followed by whites who were targeted in 720. 

About half the 1,273 incidents that involved religion were against Jews. Muslims were targeted in 307 religion-based crimes, up 19 per cent from 2015 and double the number in 2014. 

There were 1,076 incidents involving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, with almost two-thirds of those targeting gay men.  The hate crimes recorded last year included nine murders and 24 rapes, the report said.

Of the 5,770 known offenders, 46 per cent were white and 26 per cent were African-American.  The report was based on data voluntarily submitted by about 15,000 law enforcement agencies.