FBI Releases New Data on Hate Crimes Showing Increase in Anti-Jewish Crimes

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has unveiled a new website corresponding to the agency’s release of a new dataset breaking down hate crimes in the United States in 2017.

The data comes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting, which it calls the “national repository for crime data collected by law enforcement” with a primary objective of generating “reliable information for use in law enforcement administration, operation, and management,” with the data updated annually.

Across 2017, the FBI reports 7,106 “single-bias” incidents against 8,493 individuals, and 69 “multiple-bias” incidents against 335 victims, with 60.3% of the crimes perpetrated against individuals, 36.9% targeted at property (such as churches and other places of worship, with nearly 5% of attacks fitting this mold), and 2.8% termed as “crimes against society.”

Of the religiously-biased hate crimes, which accounted for nearly 1,700 of the incidents, 58.1% stemmed from anti-Jewish sentiment, and 18.7% from anti-Islamic sentiment, with race, ethnicity, ancestry, and religious background combining to represent motivating factors behind more than 80% of recorded hate crimes.

The data is collected under the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was passed in 1990 and revised in 2009 following the national attention received by the case of Matthew Shepard.

"This report is a call to action—and we will heed that call,” said DOJ Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who recently assumed the position vacated by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“The Department of Justice’s top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes,” Whitaker continued. “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."

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