FBI: Nearly 60 percent of reported hate crimes based on race/ethnicity

Updated: Nov. 15, 2016 at 12:05 PM EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIS) - A newly-released report tracking hate crimes by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows nearly 60% of hate crimes reported in 2015 were based on the victim's race or ethnicity.

The FBI released the 2015 Hate Crime Statistics report this week, reflecting the most recent compilation of statistics. New to this report is the inclusion of seven additional religious anti-bias categories: anti-Buddhist, anti-Eastern Orthodox, anti-Hindu, anti-Jehovah's Witness, anti-Mormon, anti-other Christian, and anti-Sikh, and anti-Arab bias motivation.

Of the 5,818 single-bias incidents reported in 2015, 59.2 percent of the victims were targeted because of a race/ethnicity/ancestry bias; 19.7 percent because of a religious bias; 17.7 percent because of a sexual orientation bias; 1.7 percent because of a gender identity bias; 1.2 percent because of a disability bias; and 0.4 percent because of a gender bias.

In 2014, the FBI says 5,479 criminal incidents were reported by law enforcement agencies, which was down from 5,928 reported in 2013.

The FBI says the victim of a hate crime may be a person, business, institution or society as a whole. Offenses included intimidation, damage or vandalism, assault or additional crimes against people, property or society.

Broken down by religion, 51 percent of hate crimes based on religious bias were anti-Jewish. 22 percent were anti-Islamic, among the most significant numbers.

The report says of the 5,493 known offenders, 48.4 percent were white, 24.3 percent were black or African-American, and race was unknown for 16.2 percent of the offenders. The rest were of various other races.

Click here for a link to the report.

According to FBI Director James Comey, "We need to do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime to fully understand what is happening in our communities and how to stop it."

The report is compiled based on information provided by 14,997 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The state with the highest number of reported hate crime incidents is California with 837.

Law enforcement agencies in Mississippi reported 0 hate crime incidents in 2015, but 43 participating law enforcement agencies were listed in the report. According to USAcops.com, which is linked to by the State of Mississippi, ms.gov,  the state has at 82 Sheriff's Departments or Offices.

In 2014, 75 participating law enforcement agencies in Mississippi reported a total of one hate crime.

In South Carolina, 55 hate crime incidents were reported to 40 law enforcement agencies in 2015. 49 incidents of hate crime were reported by 32 participating South Carolina law enforcement agencies in 2014.

Click here to see Hate Crime Reporting by State.

This is the 25th year the FBI has gathered and published data about bias-motivated crimes. The first publication in 1990 included limited data from only 11 states.

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