Hate crimes went up past year in the US

Cheryl Sanders
November 13, 2017

Utah Highway Patrol saw the highest number of race-related hate crimes with 10 incidents reported.

The FBI's definition of hate crimes is broader than Pennsylvania's, including disability, sexual orientation, and gender or gender identity as potential motivating factors.

Last year, the bureau started including hate crime against Arabs, Hindus, and Sikhs.

Anti-black bias accounted for the largest number of crimes motivated by a single bias, with 1,739 incidents reported.

Several incidents of vandalism at Las Palmas Mexican Grocery in Brookline, including a brick through its window in January and a mural defaced with the words "illegal trespassers", "liars" and "America haters" in April, were not charged as hate crimes , said Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler.

While the data provides a way to compare annual hate crime statistics, the number of actual hate crime incidents is believed to drastically under reported, according to advocacy groups.

"There's a unsafe disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported", said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt, who called for an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to address underreporting.

The yearly report is the most comprehensive accounting of hate crimes in the U.S. But authorities have long warned it is incomplete, in part because it is based on voluntary reporting by police agencies across the country. A report from the department's hate crimes task force is due next year, but Mr. Sessions noted noted other steps being taken in the meantime - highlighting the DOJ's decision to appoint a prosecutor from the civil rights division to assist prosecution of a man accused of killing a transgender teenager. "The end result is loss - loss of trust, loss of dignity, and in the worst case, loss of life".

Former FBI Director James Comey said earlier this year that the FBI must "do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime, to fully understand what is happening in our communities and how to stop it". He was later indicted on federal hate crime charges .

Four in 10 of the people identified as "known hate crime offenders" committed simple assault, while almost a quarter committed aggravated assault.

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