Federal Bureau of Investigation releases annual report on hate crimes

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New 2016 statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on November 13 show increases in hate-crimes against persons on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation bias.

Only 18 of those agencies said they investigated hate crimes in the past year.

Of 111 hate-crimes reported by law enforcement agencies in IL, 21 were on the basis of sexual orientation and three were on the basis of gender identity. Crimes were also committed against victims due to their religion or sexual orientation.

The raw number of incidents increased 4.6 percent from 2015, when there were 5,850 criminal incidents and 6,885 related offenses. The next closest category was crimes based on religion, with 21 percent, followed by sexual orientation at 17.5 percent.

Stacy added that politicians must be more vigorous in addressing anti-LGBT bigotry and championing anti-discrimination policies, further noting that such strategies also "requires vigorous enforcement of hate crimes laws, which can deter and address violence motivated by bigotry".

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A bill that would've introduced a hate crime law in IN died in the legislature on the same day that the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center received a bomb threat. But authorities have long warned it is incomplete, in part because it is based on voluntary reporting by police agencies across the country. In all, nine murders and 24 rapes were reported as hate crimes. That's down from 43 in 2015 and 51 in 2014. "They not only hurt one victim, but they also intimidate and isolate a victim's whole community and weaken the bonds of our society".

About half the 1,273 incidents that involved religion were against Jews.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who drew questions during his confirmation hearings about his opposition to a 2009 federal hate crimes law as a senator from Alabama, said Monday that the government should continue to "aggressively prosecute" anyone who violates a person's civil rights. There were 131 incidents of bias against transgender or gender non-conforming people, making up 1.7 percent of all incidents.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", Sessions said.

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