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FBI releases 2016 hate crime statistics

Today, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program released Hate Crime Statistics, 2016, its latest annual compilation of bias-motivated incidents reported throughout the U.S.

The newest report—which provides information about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of hate crimes—reveals that for 2016, law enforcement agencies reported 6,121 criminal incidents that were motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, or gender identity.

As part of the 2016 report, participants in UCR’s Hate Crime Statistics Program included 15,254 law enforcement agencies. These agencies provided from one to 12 months’ worth of data about bias-motivated crime, and of those agencies, 1,776 reported one or more incidents. The remaining agencies reported no hate crimes occurred within their jurisdictions.

Of the 6,121 criminal incidents reported, 6,063 were single-bias incidents (there were also 58 multiple-bias incidents). Of the single-bias incidents:

57.5 percent were motivated by a race, ethnicity or ancestry bias;

21.0 percent were motivated by a religious bias;

17.7 percent were motivated by a sexual orientation bias;

The remaining incidents were motivated by a gender identity, disability, or gender bias.

Where were these crimes committed? The two largest percentages of hate crime incidents took place in or near residences (27.3 percent) and on or near some type of roadway (18.4 percent). The remaining incidents were perpetrated at a variety of other locations, including schools and houses of worship, commercial and government buildings, restaurants and nightclubs, parking lots and garages, playgrounds and parks, and even medical facilities.

In short, hate crimes can and do happen just about anywhere.

What about the victims of these crimes? Hate crime victims can be individuals, businesses, government entities, religious organizations, or society as whole, and they can be committed against persons, property, or society. In 2016, law enforcement reported a total of 7,615 victims of hate crimes.

Of the 7,615 overall victims, 4,720 were victims of crimes against persons (both adults and juveniles), 2,813 were victims of crimes against property, and 82 were victims of hate crimes categorized as crimes against society (e.g., weapons violations, drug offenses, gambling).

Going forward. The FBI, through its UCR Program, will continue to collect and disseminate information on hate crime—as a means to educate and increase awareness of these types of crimes for the public as well as for law enforcement, government, community leaders, civic organizations, and researchers around the country.

The FBI will also continue to combat hate crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction—the number one investigative priority under our Civil Rights Program—and offer operational assistance to our local and state law enforcement partners during their hate crime investigations.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions released the following statement on the FBI’s announcement of the 2016 Hate Crimes Statistics:

“No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, of how they worship.

“In June, the Hate Crimes Subcommittee of the Justice Department’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety met with representatives from affected communities. The subcommittee continues to explore ways to expand and improve training for federal, state, and local prosecutors and investigators; improve data collection of hate crimes; and to create even better partnerships with local law enforcement and affected communities.

“The full report of the Task Force is due in January, but there are actions we can take now, like continuing to aggressively prosecute those who violate an individuals’ civil rights. Most recently, the Justice Department cross-designated a Civil Rights Division prosecutor to assist in the trial of an Iowa man accused of murdering Kedarie Johnson, a transgender teenager. I was pleased to learn on November 3, 2017 that the trial resulted in a conviction, and the man now faces life in prison.

“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.”

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