Federal Bureau of Investigation releases annual report on hate crimes

Crime Graphic

Those criminal incidents, the report said, were motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, or gender identity, reports Xinhua news agency. Crimes were also committed against victims due to their religion or sexual orientation.

Authorities warn the actual number of hate crimes is likely much higher.

Muslims and Jews were the most common targets in the USA, with anti-Muslim bias making up the second highest religious bias at 25 percent behind anti-Jewish bias, which accounted for about 55 percent, making Jews the most targeted group in the U.S.

In a report, they said that the "actual number of hate crimes may be as high as 250,000 - more than 40 times the 6,121 incidents that the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports for 2016".

The report was based on data voluntarily submitted by about 15,000 law enforcement agencies.

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In neighboring Minnesota, hate crimes rose from 109 to 119 during the same period. Hate crimes against black people declined by 3 offenses from 2015 to 2016. That year, almost 17 percent of participating police agencies reported incidents. Most of the crimes came in the form of intimidation, assault, or vandalism.

North Dakota reported eight hate crimes previous year.

The maximum number of hate crimes were related to race or ethnicity in 2016- 3,483 - with more than half against African Americans.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement.

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