Hate crime reports in America surged in 2019 to the highest level since 2008, according to new data released by the FBI.
In its annual report on national hate crime statistics, the FBI found that murders classified as hate crimes more than doubled from 2018 to 2019, with 51 people killed last year in incidents motivated by hate.
The new figures released on Monday by the FBI indicate that hate crimes reported to the FBI by US law enforcement agencies around the country have mostly increased during the presidency of Donald Trump. Between 2016 and 2017, the FBI found a 17% spike in reported incidents. The number of hate crime incidents dipped slightly in 2018 before jumping again, according to the new statistics.
The latest report found that 7,314 criminal hate crime incidents were reported to the FBI in 2019, an increase of 194 incidents since 2018. The current total included 7,103 hate crime incidents involving a single identified type of bias against a perpetrator's victims, and 211 incidents involved more than one type of bias motivating the perpetrator.
Of the single-bias hate crimes reported in 2019: 57.6% of reported incidents were motivated by the offenders' race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, 19.9% were motivated by the offenders' religious bias
16.8% were motivated by the offenders' sexual-orientation bias, 2.7% were motivated by the offenders' gender identity bias and 2% were motivated by the offenders' disability bias
The data released on Monday showed that bias against African Americans overwhelmingly comprised the largest category of reported hate crime offenses pertaining to race, with a total of 48.4% of those crimes motivated by anti-Black or African American bias. An offense is defined as a specific action against persons, property or society, and reported hate crime incidents can contain more than one offense, according to an FBI spokesperson. The new data also showed that bias against Jews comprised 60.3% of reported offenses motivated by religion, followed by 13.3% of reported offenses targeting Muslims. Among people targeted due to sexual orientation, 62.2% of reported offenses involved anti-gay bias against males.