US hate crime report: Sikh third-largest targeted community; 21% rise in Anti-Latino violence

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 14, 2019, 05.46 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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There was a 21 per cent increase in hate crimes targeting Latino or Hispanic communities, constituting 13 per cent of the offences motivated by race and a total of 485 reported cases.    

By: Mallika Singh

The United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday released its annual Hate Crime Statistics Report for the year 2018, which shows a slight decrease in the number of reported incidents from the previous year. 

The statistics that are a compilation of data collected from 16,039 law enforcement agencies, reported 7,120 hate crimes to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program last year, just 55 fewer than 2017’s 7,175 reported incidents. 

While the number of crimes motivated by bias or prejudice went down, there was an increase in the number of attacks targeting people instead of property, accounting for 61 per cent of the total reported incidents. 

African-Americans constituted the largest category of targeted victims of hate crimes motivated by race, even when the share of anti-black incidents in all hate crimes fell to an all-time low. 

There was a 21 per cent increase in hate crimes targeting Latino or Hispanic communities, constituting 13 per cent of the offences motivated by race and a total of 485 reported cases.    

Watch: Hate crimes in the US - is Donald Trump responsible?

This increase comes amidst a national priority shift from terrorism to immigration, which is also reflected in the consecutive second-year decline in Anti Muslim and Arab American offences.  

While Anti Jews crimes comprised the largest share of offences motivated by religion with 835 reported instances, there was a three-fold increase in Anti-Sikh crimes with 60 reported cases, which makes the community the third-largest victim of crimes motivated by religion.  

In crimes motivated by sexual orientation, anti-gay bias against males saw an increase of nearly 7 per cent from 2017, with anti-transgender crimes increasing by 34 per cent. 

The FBI defines hate crimes as “a committed criminal offence which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias(es) against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” 

Experts fear that there might come an increase in attacks ahead of heated 2020 presidential elections in the country, along with an increase in attacks on people rather than vandalism of property. 

While the number of hate crimes in 2018 might have fallen by 0.77 per cent from the previous year, it is important to note that the data was collected from 110 fewer agencies than in 2017. 

(With inputs from Reuters)