The FBI has released a new report that shows hate crime murders increased drastically in the year 2018.
What We Know:
- Hate crime murders in the United States reached a 27-year high in 2018. Hate crime murders totaled 24, which includes the 11 worshipers slain last year at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. That incident was the deadliest anti-Semitic crime in United States history. The total of hate crime murders is the highest recorded total since the FBI began tracking and reporting hate crimes in 1991.
- Hate crimes, overall, were down slightly in 2018. The FBI reported 7,175 hate crime incidents in 2017 and 6,121 in 2016. In the latest report, there were 4,571 reported hate crimes against people in 2018, many of them in the largest cities in the United States, involving victims from a wide range of ethnic and religious backgrounds.
- State and local police forces are not required to report hate crimes to the FBI. The bureau has made an effort in recent years to increase awareness and response rates. However, about 110 fewer law enforcement agencies contributed to the data for 2018 than the year before. At least 85 cities with populations exceeding 100,000 residents either did not report any hate crimes or reported zero hate crimes. Even the states of Alabama and Wyoming reported having zero hate crimes.
- Crimes targeting the LGBTQ community increased by about 6% from 2017 and the FBI reports a significant increase in hate crimes motivated by gender identity bias. Two recent major hate crimes, the killing of Heather Heyer and the fatal shooting of Khalid Jabara, were left out of the data. Advocates are campaigning for change in legislation with the “Heather Heyer and Khalid Jabara NO HATE Act,” which would provide incentives for hate crime reporting and grants for state-run hate crime hotlines.
The United States Justice Department has said that efforts are underway to improve investigation and reporting of hate crimes at the state and local level.