Reports of hate crimes continue to rise
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 11/14/18, 10:10 am
Reports of crimes motivated by racial, religious, sexual, and other prejudices spiked across the United States by 17 percent in 2017, rising for the third straight year, with a 37 percent increase in anti-Semitic crimes, according to an FBI report released Tuesday. Some of the increases might be the result of better reporting by police departments, but law enforcement officials say they don’t doubt hate crimes are on the rise. A little more than two weeks ago, an anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant gunman killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue as they gathered for Saturday services.
The FBI report showed a nearly 23 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes and a 16 percent rise in hate crimes against African-Americans. There were 1,130 reported incidents targeting people because of their sexual orientation, a small increase compared to 2016. Anti-Muslim hate crimes were down about 11 percent, according to the report. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said the crimes were “despicable violations of our core values as Americans,” adding, “The Department of Justice’s top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes.”
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