FBI: Hate Crimes Are Up

By Sameer Rao Nov 14, 2017

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting project published "Hate Crime Statistics, 2016," the latest version of its annual discriminatory violence report, yesterday (November 13). 

The FBI noted in an announcement accompanying the report that it drew information from 15,254 law enforcement agencies to inform its research. Fully 1,776 (11.6 percent) of those agencies reported at least one "bias-motivated" crime during 2016, contributing to a total of 6,121 reported hate crimes last year. The bureau categorized 99 percent of those crimes as "single-bias incidents," or crimes motivated by a single prejudice, while the remaining 58 crimes targeted multiple demographic categories. These figures represent an increase in reported incidents from the 2015 version, which catalogued 5,818 single-bias incidents and 32 multiple-bias ones. That report pulled data from 14,997 law enforcement agencies.

Here are three important takeaways from the bureau’s statistics about crimes committed against people of color and other marginalized groups.

1) Most hate crimes target specific racial and ethnic groups. 
The report states that 3,489 (57.5 percent) of all reported single-bias incidents were motivated by race, ethnicity or ancestry biases. Of those crimes’ 4,426 victims, half (50.2 percent) were targets of anti-Black bias. Other victims in this category suffered from anti-Indigenous (3.8 percent), anti-Latinx (10.9 percent), anti-White (20.5 percent), anti-Asian and Pacific Islander (3.3 percent) and anti-Arab (1.3 percent) bias. The other single-bias incident categories include religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender and gender identity.

2) Islamophobic hate incidents rose 4 percent since 2015. 
Religious bias inspired 21 percent of the 6,063 single-bias incidents. Islamophobia prompted 24.1 percent of those religion-motivated incidents. This represents an increase of 4 percent from 2015. Most reported crimes in this group had anti-Jewish origins, with 684 (53.7 percent) such incidents in 2016—an increase of 0.3 percent since last year. This is the second year in which the bureau included religious bias as part of the hate crime statistics. 

3) White perpetrators make up nearly half of all known offenders.
The FBI reports that 2,671 (46.3 percent) of all known perpetrators were White. The number does not include the 18.1 percent of offenders whose races were either unknown or unreported by law enforcement agencies. Black and Latinx people accounted for 26.1 percent and 5.9 percent of offenders, respectively. Indigenous people and Asian and Pacific Islanders made up less than 1 percent each.

Read the full report here.