a report released by the FBI on the 16th showed that the number of hate crimes in the United States in 2019 rose to the highest level since 2008, and federal officials recorded The number of hate murders also hit the highest level since the FBI began collecting such data in the early 1990s.
According to the report, there were 51 hate crime murders between 2018 and 2019, of which 22 people were killed in the Wal-Mart shooting in the border city of El Paso in Texas in August 2019. The target of the gunman was Mexican.
A total of 7,314 hate crimes were reported in 2019, up from 7,120 in the previous year, and close to 7,783 in 2008. The FBI’s annual report defines hate crimes as crimes triggered by prejudice based on personal race, religion, or sexual orientation.
According to the report, there were about 206 hate crimes against Asians in 2019, and Asians accounted for about 5.4% of the total U.S. population.
The data did not show the surge in hate crimes against Asians since coronavirus pandemic. The Stop AAPI Hate forum encourages Asians to report discrimination incidents that occurred during the epidemic. They received 2,583 reports from March 19 to August 5, 2020. According to a study conducted by young people by the organization, in the past year, one in four young Asians has become a target of racism.
Part of the reason for the increase in hate crimes in 2019 may be a better reporting system in the police department, but law enforcement officials and advocacy groups do not suspect that hate crimes are increasing. Over the years, the U.S. Department of Justice has given special priority to hate crime prosecutions.
After the FBI released the data, advocacy organizations including the Anti-Defamation League called on Congress and law enforcement agencies across the United States to improve hate crime data collection and reporting. Critics have long warned that the data may be incomplete, partly because the data is based on voluntary reports from police agencies across the country.
The FBI stated that in 2019, of the approximately 15,000 law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, only 2,172 agencies reported hate crime data to the FBI. Although the number of agencies reporting hate crimes has increased, the number of agencies participating in the project has actually fallen from the previous year. A large number of police agencies do not seem to submit any hate crime data.
A 2016 survey by the Associated Press found that in the past six years, more than 2,700 municipal police and county sheriff departments across the United States had not submitted a hate crime report to the FBI’s annual criminal record.
Greenblatt also said that the United States must “remove the barriers faced by people in marginal communities in reporting hate crimes. They are the people most likely to suffer hate crimes.” Other advocates expressed the same view.
An official from the Southern Poverty Law Center said: “The FBI report reminds us once again that we still have a lot of work to do in addressing the issue of hatred in the United States.”