Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics show hate crimes rise in Minnesota in 2016

Crime Graphic

Crime Graphic

Many civil rights groups reported a spike in hate crimes immediately after President Donald Trump's election in 2016 and the increase in the FBI's official numbers is similar to some of those estimates but lower than the most extreme claims.

Nationally, there were more than 6,100 hate crimes in 2016, up about 5 percent over the previous year.

Most of the crimes in 2016 were motivated by the victim's race or ethnicity, not by religion or sexual orientation.

According to the data, the number of hate crimes increased for a second consecutive year, and most were "single-bias incidents". Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said it would be a top focus of his Justice Department. Additionally there were 58 multiple-bias hate crime incidents involving 106 victims. Anti-white bias was the next largest category, making up 20.7 percent. A further 24.5 percent of cases were motivated by anti-Islamic bias.

That distribution tracks closely with the data from 2015, which found 59.2 percent of hate crimes reported that year were based on the victim's race, ethnicity or ancestry. The letter cited examples of hate incidents, including the murder of seven transgender women of color, the February shooting targeting two Indian Hindu Americans in Kansas, and the numerous bomb threats against Jewish organizations and houses of worship, among others.

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The majority of bias incidents, 54.2 percent, were for either simple or aggravated assault.

On Monday, Sessions said the Justice Department is awaiting a full report from a task force on steps it can take to improve training for prosecutors and investigators, boost data collection on hate crimes and partner with local officials and communities. The plurality of the remainder, 44.7 percent of overall incidents, were for intimidation. The lack of mandatory reporting means that the Federal Bureau of Investigation data, while helpful, paints a very incomplete picture of hate crimes against LGBTQ Americans.

"I was pleased to learn on November 3, 2017 that the trial resulted in a conviction, and the man now faces life in prison", Sessions said of the Johnson case in his response to the report.

Of the 7,615 overall hate crime victims in 2016, 4,720 of them were against people.

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