New FBI report shows increase in hate crimes

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Many civil rights groups reported a spike in hate crimes immediately after President Donald Trump's election in 2016 and the increase in the FBI's official numbers is similar to some of those estimates but lower than the most extreme claims.

The FBI [official website] released [press release] the 2016 Hate Crime Statistics [materials] on Monday revealing 7,321 recorded criminal offenses motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender and gender identity in comparison to 6,885 [press release] of such bias-motivated offenses in the previous year.

The specific data for both Iowa and Nebraska can be found to the side of this article. And while the number of jurisdictions reporting hate crimes data increased to 15,251 in 2016 from 14,997 in 2015, this is still less than the 15,494 agencies that reported in 2014.

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"There's a risky disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported", said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A Greenblatt, who called for an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to address underreporting. The number of participating agencies also varies from year to year.

The number for hate crimes against Sikhs, whose population is estimated to be 500,000, went up from six in 2015 to seven in 2016. More than 90 cities with more than 100,000 residents either affirmatively reported zero hate crimes or ignored the Federal Bureau of Investigation request for their 2016 hate crime data.

Of 111 hate-crimes reported by law enforcement agencies in IL, 21 were on the basis of sexual orientation and three were on the basis of gender identity.

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Curry pushed back against common criticism that a hate crime law would police thought or speech.

"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", Sessions said.

More than half the 4 229 racially motivated crimes were against black people, while 20% were against whites, the report shows. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said it would be a top focus of his Justice Department.

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