The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a hate crimes investigation into what led to the stabbing death of 6-year-old Wadea Al Fayoume and the serious injuries to his mother, Hanaan Shahin, in Illinois last week. Authorities linked the case to the war between Israel and Hamas. Attorney General Merrick Garland warned that the incident would raise fears among Muslim, Arab and Palestinian communities about hate-fueled violence. He said DOJ would “use every legal authority at our disposal to bring justice to those who perpetrate illegal acts of hate.” FBI data show that reported numbers of hate crimes motivated by bias against race, religion or sexual orientation for some groups of people were on the rise in 2022. Law enforcement agencies reported 11,643 incidents of hate crimes in 2022 motivated by bias against race, religion or sexual orientation.
While the number of reported hate crime incidents is up by 7% from 2021, the spike is partially due to more law enforcement agencies reporting their data. More than 3,000 hate crime incidents took place in a residence in 2022—the most common location. The second most-common location was a highway, road, alley, street, or sidewalk. There are more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., and it's not mandatory for them. state, local and tribal agencies to submit data on hate crimes. In 2022, 14,660 of 18,888 participating law enforcement agencies in the U.S. submitted data in the country that year. That's a 77% participation rate.