FBI reports highest level of hate crimes in over a decade
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FBI reports highest level of hate crimes in over a decade

The FBI released their annual hate crime report on Monday, revealing that 2019 brought unusually high numbers of hate crimes and hate-motivated killings in the US. The number of hate crimes reached its highest level in over a decade, while the number of hate crime murders was the largest yet reported.

The report, created by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, contains statistics about bias-motivated crimes collected from law enforcement agencies. While there were 24 hate-motivated killings in 2018, including lives lost in the Pittsburgh Tree of Life shooting, the mass murder that occurred in El Paso contributed to a total of 51 killings in 2019—more than double the number from the previous year. Notably, the report indicated a rise in both anti-Semitic and anti-Hispanic hate crimes. This is the fourth year that hate crimes against these groups has increased.

The reported hate crimes showed a 2.7 percent increase overall, with the majority of crimes consisting of single-bias incidents. For almost 30 years, race-based crimes have been the most common type of hate crime reported, with nearly half of the offenses specifically anti-Black. In 2019, there was also an 18 percent increase in hate crimes based on gender identity.

Many believe that these numbers are not representative of actual hate-crime data, which is likely underreported. Several participating law enforcement agencies fail to report their hate-crime data to the FBI, leaving even widely-publicized hate crimes unreported.