Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Hate crimes surged in Trump’s first year

Hate crimes surged in Trump’s first year

The number of hate crime incidents reported in the United States jumped by 17 percent previous year, the largest increase since 2001 when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 fueled a surge in attacks on Americans of Muslim and Arab ancestry.

Hate crimes surged 17 percent in the United States in Donald Trump's first year as president, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a new report Tuesday.

Of the 7,106 single-bias hate crimes reported, 59.6% of victims were targeted because of the offenders' race/ethnicity/ancestry bias; 20.6% were targeted because of sexual-orientation bias; 1.9% were targeted because of gender identity bias; and 0.6% were targeted because of gender bias.

The report, released Tuesday, shows there was a almost 23 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes. There was a 37% 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. He says the offenses were "despicable violations of our core values as Americans".

While about 1,000 additional law enforcement agencies contributed data in 2017 as compared to 2016, the ADL says a "serious gap" in reporting remains; at least 92 cities with populations exceeding 100,000 either did not report data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or reported zero hate crimes, according to the group.

Religion was the second biggest motivator of hate crimes, with 1,679 incidents reported by law enforcement agencies. "Between 2016 and 2017, CAIR-Chicago has received a 50% increase in reported incidents of discrimination", said Deputy Director Sufyan Sohel in a statement.

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The total number of hate crimes reported in 2017 was 8,437, with 8,126 of those reported as single-bias incidents, meaning the motivation could be pinpointed to being aggressive against one particular class of people.

A rise in hate crimes against Jews and a bomb threat at the Stroum Jewish Community Center a year ago prompted Mercer Island resident Joseph Schocken to push to expand the federal hate-crimes laws to include threats and the defacing of religious institutions.

"You can't move what you can't measure; without accurate reporting we don't have a real sense of how widespread hate crimes are and what needs to be done to address bias in society", Greenblatt said.

In his statement, Mr Whitaker said: "The Department of Justice's top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes".

The FBI does not estimate data for jurisdictions that do not report their data. The latest figures are also the third consecutive annual increase in bias incidents.

Attacks on Jews accounted for 60 percent of all religion-based hate crimes, the highest of any targeted religious group. Over 4,000 cases involved crimes against individuals, ranging from harassment to assault.

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