Federal Bureau of Investigation data shows 18 hate crimes logged in South Dakota in 2016

14 November, 2017, 01:53 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Chet Strange  Getty Images

Religious bias motivated 1,538 hate crimes past year - over half against Jews, and about one-quarter against Muslims.

The FBI's annual hate crime statistics, released Monday, showed there were 6,121 hate crime incidents in 2016, up 4.6 percent from 5,850 in 2015.

Eighteen hate crimes were reported in South Dakota a year ago, with the bulk of victims targeted for their race or ethnicity or sexual orientation. In 2015, hate crime rose by seven percent.

1,218 hate crimes were based on bias against certain sexual orientations. The number of participating agencies also varies from year to year.

However, a report issued last month by the Maryland State Police showed a 40 percent increase in hate "incidents" in the state in 2016.

"It's deeply disturbing to see hate crimes increase for the second year in a row", said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League.

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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 numbers likely reflect an uptick recorded by civil rights groups in harassment and vandalism targeting Muslims, Jews, blacks and others amid the presidential campaign, which included sharp rhetoric from Trump and others against immigrants, especially Muslims. But the number of anti-black crimes remained about even with the number reported in 2015.

Experts caution there is a big caveat with Federal Bureau of Investigation data: It's based on voluntary reporting from more than 15,000 police agencies across the country.

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

On Monday, Sessions said the Justice Department is awaiting a full report from a task force on steps it can take to improve training for prosecutors and investigators, boost data collection on hate crimes and partner with local officials and communities. Not all departments use the same system, Cobb said.

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