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Hate crimes jump nearly 12% in 2021, new FBI figures show


Hate crimes in the United States rose 11.6% in 2021 from a year earlier, according to revised figures released Monday by the FBI.

Statistics showed that 12,411 people were reportedly victims of hate crimes in 2021, 64.5% of them targeted because of their race or ethnicity, 15.9% targeted because of their sexual orientation and 14.1% because of their religion. Reports rose from 8,120 in 2020 to 9,065 in 2021 – some crimes resulted in multiple victims.

In 2020, reports of hate crimes increased by less than 3% compared to the previous year.

The FBI released initial 2021 data in December that indicated a slight decrease in the number of hate crimes. Officials said the report was flawed because of low turnout rates from law enforcement across the country that 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 country’s three largest cities by population.

Analysts then came back and asked more than 3,000 agencies that didn’t initially submit statistics to turn over data so the FBI could get a more complete picture of hate crimes.

Figures released Monday include numbers from New York and Los Angeles. Chicago submitted data for part of the year, a senior FBI official told reporters during a briefing.

The official said the top five hate crimes in 2021 were motivated by sentiments against African Americans, white people, gay people, Jews and Asian Americans. The incidents ranged from intimidation and assault to rape and murder.

The same official said 14,859 law enforcement agencies across the country are now registered with the National Incident Reporting System, representing 79% of police departments covering 91% of the US population.

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the Justice Department’s No. 3 official, said, “We continue to work with state and local law enforcement agencies across the country to increase the reporting of statistics on FBI hate crimes.

“Preventing, investigating and prosecuting hate crimes are top priorities for the Department of Justice, and reporting is key to each of those priorities,” Gupta said in a statement.

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