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Race, ethnicity leading reasons for hate crimes in 2020, FBI report finds

Hate crimes based on race, ethnicity or ancestry made up 61.9% of the reported cases in the U.S. in 2020.
Credit: Артем Константинов - stock.adobe.com

About three out of every five reported hate crimes in the United States in 2020 were ones in which the victim was targeted due to their race, ethnicity or ancestry. That's according to a new hate crime statistics report released Monday by the FBI.

The bureau said in a statement that more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies participating in the survey reported "7,759 criminal incidents and 10,532 related offenses" as being motivated by some form of bias, but that number may be low as not all law enforcement agencies in the U.S. participated.

Hate crimes based on race, ethnicity or ancestry made up 61.9% of the reported cases, the FBI said. Sexual orientation bias made up 20.5% of cases and 13.4% were targeted due to the victim's religion while 2.5% were victimized due to gender identity.

There were 205 cases in which more than one bias was involved in the hate crime, the FBI said.

Most of the known hate crime offenders (55.2%) were white, the FBI said while 20.2% were Black or African Americans. In cases in which the offenders' ethnicity was reported, the FBI said 38.9% were non-Hispanic or non-Latino and 10.7% were Hispanic or Latino. But for nearly half, the ethnicity of the offender was not known.

Twenty-two murders and 19 rapes were listed as hate crimes by the bureau. The majority of crimes against people were intimidation (53.4%) while 27.6% were simple assault and 18.1% were aggravated assault.

A little more than three-quarters of hate crimes against property resulted in damage, destruction or vandalism while most of the rest resulted in burglary, robbery, auto theft, larceny-theft and arson, the FBI said.

Nearly 3-in-10 hate crimes occurred near homes or other residences while about 20% happened on roads, highways or sidewalks. Another 4.4% happened at schools or colleges and 3.6% were at parks or playgrounds.

The full report can be found here.

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