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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Acting Attorney General Calls 17 Percent Jump in Hate Crimes a ‘Call to Action’

Hate crimes are on the rise in the U.S., and over half of the reported crimes are committed by white offenders, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2017 Hate Crime Statistics report.

Overall, there was a 17 percent increase in reported hate crimes and a 37 percent jump in anti-Semitic crimes from 2016 to 2017.

The FBI found that 59.6 percent of the victims were targeted because of the offenders’ bias against race, ethnicity or ancestry and that there were 4,131 such incidents reported in 2017, an increase from 3,489 incidents in 2016. There were 1,564 incidents based on religion in 2017, an increase from 1,273 in 2016, and 1,130 incidents based on sexual orientation, up from 1,076 in 2016.

The Uniform Crime Reporting Hate Crime Statistics Program is voluntary, and included 16,149 participating law enforcement agencies for the most recent report, up from 15,254 in 2016.


“This report is a call to action—and we will heed that call,” Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in a statement. “The Department of Justice’s top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes. They are also despicable violations of our core values as Americans. I am particularly troubled by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes—which were already the most common religious hate crimes in the United States—that is well documented in this report. The American people can be assured that this Department has already taken significant and aggressive actions against these crimes and that we will vigorously and effectively defend their rights.” 

Of the 6,370 known hate crime offenders and 7,106 incidents in 2017:

  • 50.7 percent were white
  • 21.3 percent were black or African-American
  • 19.1 percent race unknown
  • 83 percent were 18 years of age or older
  • 27.5 percent of hate crimes occurred in or near residences/homes
  • 17.9 percent occurred on highways/roads/alleys/streets/sidewalks
  • 10.5 percent occurred at schools/colleges
  • 5.8 percent happened in parking/drop lots/garages

See the Justice Department’s hate crimes website, which launched last month.

Archive: PERSPECTIVE: FBI Has a Long History of Upholding the Rule of Law

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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