The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed disappointment that, for the second year in a row, the FBI’s release of 2016 annual Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) data documents an increase in hate crimes nationwide. The FBI found hate crimes rose nearly 5 percent in 2016.
The annual FBI HCSA statistics provide the most important snapshot of hate in the United States. In 2016, there were 6,121 reported hate crimes, compared to the 5,850 reported in 2015.
- As in years past, the FBI report documents that race-based crimes are the most numerous – with more than 50 percent of those crimes directed against African-Americans.
- The number of hate crimes directed against individuals and institutions on the basis of religion were second most numerous. Of religious-based hate crimes, 53 percent were against Jews.
- The greatest increase in religious-based crimes was those against Muslims; they increased 19 percent from 2015 to 2016.
- Crimes directed at LGBT communities were the third most frequent.
- Hate crime reports came from 15,254 law enforcement agencies
- Nearly 90 cities with more than 100,000 residents either affirmatively reported zero (0) hate crimes or ignored the FBI request for their 2016 hate crime data.
“It’s deeply disturbing to see hate crimes increase for the second year in a row,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt. “Hate crimes demand priority attention because of their special impact. They not only hurt one victim, but they also intimidate and isolate a victim’s whole community and weaken the bonds of our society.”
To increase understanding of these important trends, ADL announced a first-of-its-kind, interactive hate crime map that displays FBI hate crime data from 2004-2016 for cities with more than 100,000 residents. It gives users the ability to navigate hate crimes data and laws at the national, statewide and city level, and breaks out information on crimes against a broad spectrum of targeted populations.
The comprehensive map shows which large cities may have underreported hate crimes in their city – or not reported at all. And it contains an interactive chart of hate crime laws in America, sharing which groups are included in state hate crime laws, as well as which states are missing laws protecting specific populations.
“There’s a dangerous disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported,” Greenblatt said. “Police departments that do not report credible data to the FBI risk sending the message that this is not a priority issue for them, which may threaten community trust in their ability and readiness to address hate violence. We will need an all-hands-on-deck approach – including community organizations, law enforcement organizations, civic leaders, and the active involvement of Justice Department and FBI officials – to address hate crime underreporting.”
In September, ADL and a coalition of more than 80 national civil rights, religious, education, and professional organizations promoted a broad series of hate crime prevention programs and initiatives. ADL also plans to fully engage partners at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. A central element of the joint 10-point Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry, announced after the events in Charlottesville, was a commitment to improve hate crime data reporting.
“In the face of this latest news, we stand strong in our commitment to improving hate crime data collection, advocating for better hate crime legislation, and working closely with law enforcement on hate crime training,” said Greenblatt. “We will not stop until everyone feels free from hate in their communities.”