Hate crimes in the US are set to increase by 11.6% in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to revised data released by the FBI on Monday.
The data shows that of the 12,411 people reported to be victims of hate crimes in 2021, 64.5% of them were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, 15.9% were targeted for their sexual orientation and 14.1% were targeted for their religion. Reports rose from 8,120 in 2020 to 9,065 in 2021 – some crimes had multiple victims.
In 2020, reports of hate crimes increased by less than 3% compared to the previous year.
The FBI released preliminary data for 2021 in December that indicated a slight decrease in the number of hate crimes. Officials said the report was flawed due to low participation rates by law enforcement agencies across the country, which were not using a new reporting system known as the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
The initial figures also did not include data from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – the nation’s three largest cities by population.
Then the analysts went back and there were over 3,000 agencies that originally didn’t submit figures in the data so that the FBI could have a complete picture of hate crimes.
The figures released Monday include numbers for New York and Los Angeles. A senior FBI official told reporters at a background briefing that Chicago had accumulated data for part of the year.
The top five hate crimes in 2021 were driven by feelings against African Americans, whites, gay men, Jews and Asian Americans, the official said. The incidents ranged from threats and assaults to rape and murder.
The same official said 14,859 law enforcement agencies nationwide are now enrolled in the national incident-based reporting system, representing 79% of police agencies covering 91% of the US population.
3 official in the Department of Justice, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said, “We are continuing to work with state and local law enforcement agencies across the country to increase the reporting of hate crime data to the FBI.
“Preventing, investigating and prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority for the Department of Justice, and reporting is critical to each of those priorities,” Gupta said in a statement.
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