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US hate crimes increased nearly 12 percent in 2021, FBI says

Nearly 65 percent of hate crimes were based on race and ethnicity, according to a report by the US intelligence agency.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the domestic intelligence agency of the United States, has found that hate crimes increased nearly 12 percent between 2020 and 2021, driven primarily by crimes based on race and ethnicity.

FBI data released Monday showed that hate crimes had increased from 8,120 in 2020 to 9,065 in 2021, an 11.6 percent increase. Nearly 65 percent of victims were targeted because of their race, ethnicity or origin. Another 15.9 percent of hate crimes were based on sexual orientation and 14.1 percent on religious bias.

“Of the 8,327 hate crimes classified as crimes against persons in the updated 2021 dataset, 43.2 percent were harassment, 35.5 percent simple assault and 20.1 percent aggravated assault,” the agency said in a statement. press release.

The report was released as concerns grew about violence against minority communities by white supremacists and other hate groups. According to the Reuters news agency, the most commonly reported hate crime categories were anti-black, anti-white, anti-gay, anti-Jewish and anti-Asian.

Monday’s report also marks the first time the FBI can confidently report on hate crime trends since the agency transitioned to a new method of data collection.

Crime data released by the FBI in October contains significant gaps, as just over half of U.S. law enforcement agencies reported data for all of 2021. The latest report includes data from cities that had not yet implemented the change to the new reporting format. in some of those holes.

In 2021, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland offered states and municipalities additional resources for detecting and investigating hate crimes.

“Hate crimes and the devastation they wreak on communities have no place in this country,” Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta said, according to Reuters. “The Department of Justice is committed to using all resources and resources at our disposal to combat bias-motivated violence in all its forms.”

Experts say hate crimes go beyond individual acts of violence. They can have a widespread, chilling impact on the larger communities they target. The American Psychological Association has linked hate crimes to widespread “psychological problems and lower self-esteem” among groups associated with victims.

“Hate crimes send the message to members of the victim group that they are unwelcome and unsafe in the community, victimizing the entire group and diminishing feelings of security,” the association said.

Recent high-profile hate crimes in the US include the February shooting of two Jewish men leaving a synagogue in Los Angeles.

The suspect, a 28-year-old man named Jaime Tran, said he searched for a kosher market and decided to shoot someone nearby, according to an affidavit filed by the FBI.

In February, a white supremacist was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the May 2022 shooting that killed 10 black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.