Kentucky among worst states for spike in hate crimes

Hate crimes rose sharply in 2017 FBI report says

White supremacists marched in Charlottesville Va. last year at the"Unite the Right rally

The FBI said although the number of attacks has increased, so has the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate crime data.

Hate crimes rose by 17 percent in the USA during 2017, marking an increase for the third year in a row, according to the Washington Post.

Of that total, almost 60 percent of the incidents saw perpetrators target victims based on their race, ethnicity or ancestry, while one-fifth included individuals targeted owing to anti-religious bias. The report, released Tuesday, shows there was a almost 23% increase in religion-based hate crimes, including a 37% spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes. There was a 37 percent spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes.

"This report is a call to action and we will heed that call", Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in response to the report.

The FBI report is believed to undercount the true extent of hate crime in the United States.That is in part because the report is based on voluntary submissions made by law enforcement agencies, most of which usually don't report hate incidents.Last year, more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies took part in the FBI data collection, but only 2,000 agencies actually reported hate crimes. The FBI cautioned that not all law enforcement agencies report these statistics.

The number of reported racially motivated hate crimes jumped by 14 percent from 2016 to 2017, with 4,832 crimes reported with the 2017 data versus 4,229 reported for 2016. In addition to the 7,106 single-bias incidents reported past year, there were also 69 multiple-bias hate crimes reported.

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In all, past year saw a 58.1 percent spike in anti-Semitic incidents and an 18.6 increase in Islamophobic attacks.

The report covered jurisdictions in 49 states and the District of Columbia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. There were also significant increases in the number of hate crimes directed against Arab Americans (100 percent), Asian-Pacific Americans (20 percent), and Native Americans (63 percent).

Almost 20 percent of the reported hate crimes were attributed to religious-based motivation slightly over 15 percent were reported as motivated by the victim's sexual orientation. The Anti-Defamation League also released a report that found social media harassment targeting Jewish Americans increased around the 2018 midterm elections and two-thirds of those online attacks were from people, not bots.

Most of the hate crime offenses - about 5,000 - were categorized as crimes against persons such as intimidation or assault, while about 3,000 were considered crimes against property such as vandalism, robbery or burglary.

Last month, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the Justice Department's new hate crime initiative was "taking on the challenging task of addressing the gap in hate crime statistics" and officials were reviewing the "accuracy of those reports".

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