By Steve Neavling
The FBI reported a 12% increase in hate crimes in 2021.
More than 12,400 people were reportedly victims of hate crimes, and 64.5% of them were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, according to an updated report released Monday.
Nearly 16% of the victims were targeted because of their sexual orientation, and 14% were targeted because of their religion.
The number of hate crimes rose from 8,120 in 2020 to 9,065 in 2021.
“Hate crimes and the devastation they cause communities have no place in this country,” Associate U.S. Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a statement released Monday. “The Justice Department is committed to every tool and resource at our disposal to combat bias-motivated violence in all its forms.”
The bureau initially reported hate crime statistics for 2021 but numerous law enforcement agencies did not submit reports.
Of the 8,327 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against a person, 43.2% were intimidation, 35.5% were simple assault, 20.1% were aggravated assault, 19 were rapes, and 18 were murders.
The Justice Department said it has taken aggressive steps to investigate and prosecute hate crimes. Since 2021, the DOJ has charged more than 70 defendants and secured more than 60 convictions.
The department also created the first-ever anti-hate crimes resources coordinator.
In addition, the Justice Department, with the help of the FBI, launched a National Anti-Hate Crimes Campaign involving all 56 FBI field offices.