Hate crimes in the United States have surged to the highest level in 12 years, according to the annual hate crime statistics report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released on Aug. 30.
The report identified 7,759 hate crimes reported across the U.S. in 2020 from data submitted by over 15,000 law enforcement agencies. The latest data showed a 6% increase — 450 incidents — over 2019 and the highest number since 2008.
The report revealed that hate crimes motivated by bias against race, ethnicity, or ancestry comprised the largest category at 64% (4,939), followed by bias against religion at 15% (1,174), and against sexual orientation at 14% (1,051).
Anti-Black hate crimes largely comprised all hate crimes at 36% (2,755), followed by anti-white hate crimes at 10% (773), and anti-Jewish hate crimes at 9% (676).
Of the 6,576 known offenders, 55% (3,633) were White, 20% (1,309) were Blacks, and 16% (1,080) were of unknown race, according to the report.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the latest statistics “demonstrates the urgent need for a comprehensive response.”
“These hate crimes and other bias-related incidents instill fear across entire communities and undermine the principles upon which our democracy stands. All people in this country should be able to live without fear of being attacked or harassed because of where they are from, what they look like, whom they love or how they worship,” Garland further said.
Garland added that the Justice Department has “rededicated” itself to fighting against hate crimes by improving incident report, increasing law enforcement training, prioritizing community outreach, and using civil enforcement mechanisms.
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