FBI: Hate crime murders hit record in 2018; crimes targeting transgender people soar

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Hate crime murders in the U.S. reached a 27-year high in 2018, according to data released Tuesday by the FBI. Hate crime murders totaled 24, which includes the 11 worshipers slain last year at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the deadliest anti-Semitic hate crime in U.S. history.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program’s Hate Crime Statistics show hate crimes overall were down slightly in 2018 following three years of increases. Of 16,039 law enforcement agencies who participate in the hate crime data collection program, 2,026 agencies reported 7,120 hate crime incidents involving 8,496 offenses, meaning some involved multiple criminal charges. Most of the hate-crime incidents, 7,036, were “single bias,” while the rest stemmed from multiple biases. The incidents involved 8,646 victims. 

The FBI reported 7,175 hate crime incidents in 2017 and 6,121 in 2016.

Advocates point out that hate crime statistics — submitted voluntarily by local jurisdictions to the FBI — are incomplete and don’t offer a full picture of bias crimes in the country. 

Of the single-bias hate crime incidents in 2018:

  • 57.5% were motivated by a race/ethnicity/ancestry bias

  • 20.2% were motivated by religious bias

  • 17% were motivated by sexual-orientation bias

  • 2.4% were motivated by gender-identity bias

  • 2.3% were motivated by disability bias

  • 0.7% were motivated by gender bias

Of crimes motivated by religious bias, most of the incidents, 57.8% were anti-Jewish, according to the FBI.  The 24 total hate crime murders recorded were the highest since the FBI began tracking and reporting on hate crimes in 1991, according to the Anti-Defamation  League.

“It is unacceptable that Jews and Jewish institutions continue to be at the center of religion-based hate crime attacks,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a statement. “We need to take concrete action to address and combat this significant problem. 

The FBI also reports a significant increase in hate crimes motivated by gender identity bias. The FBI said 184 hate crime offenses in 2018 were motivated by bias against transgender or gender non-conforming people — 157 motivated by anti-transgender bias and 27 motivated by bias against gender non-conforming people. In 2017, 118 were anti-transgender and 13 were gender non-conforming.

This is a developing story.



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