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Reported Hate Crimes In U.S. Rise, New FBI Compilation Says

Newly compiled figures debunk previous suggestions from incomplete data about a possible decline in hate crimes. The new FBI data showed an 11.6% jump in reported hate crimes, from 2020 to 2021, with 79% of law-enforcement agencies reporting. Statistics released in December indicated that the total had fallen, but the FBI acknowledged the data were incomplete because thousands of police departments, including some in New York and California, hadn’t reported their numbers to the federal government, the Wall Street Journal reports. Los Angeles and New York City are now represented in the hate-crime report. Chicago provided two quarters’ worth of its data. “We are continuing to work with state and local law-enforcement agencies across the country to increase the reporting of hate-crime statistics,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “Hate crimes and the devastation they cause communities have no place in this country.” Hate crimes are defined as those motivated by prejudice based on race, gender and gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. In 2021, such offenses were most commonly fueled by bias against Black people, followed by that against white people, gay men, Jewish people, and Asian people. Thorough reporting of hate crimes is crucial to preventing and prosecuting them, Gupta said. The new data provide a more reliable portrait of a period in which the U.S. was racked by high-profile hate crimes. Those crimes include a wave of anti-Asian attacks during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Colorado where the accused gunman has been charged with hate crimes, and a rise in antisemitic threats. The Biden administration has called fighting hate crimes a priority, with the Justice Department charging more than 70 people in 60 cases since January 2021. The FBI blamed r data shortcomings on a new crime-data reporting system. While the new system includes more details about each incident, law enforcement agencies, including some of the largest, had been slow to switch over and were unable to submit data in time last year. The Justice Department had been working to help more agencies transition to the new system, using more than $120 million in grant funding to speed the process.

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