Driven by the rise in assaults that targeted Black and Asian victims, the number of hate crimes in 2020 in the United States rose to the highest level in more than a decade, the FBI report published on Monday shows.
FBI’s 2020 report complied of data submitted by more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies has recorded 6% increase in hate crimes compared to 2019, with 7,759 cases identified nationwide – the highest tally since 2008.
Commenting the FBI’s 2020Hate Crime Statistics that demonstrates the urgent need for a comprehensive response, US Attorney General Merrick Garland pointed that one of the Justice Department’s highest priorities is to prevent and respond to hate crimes and hate incidents.
The FBI report shows that 62% of victims were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, about 20% were victimized based on the sexual-orientation bias and 13% because of religious bias, pointing that more than half of the known offenders were White.
According to the Justice Department’s warning after the January 6 assault on the US Capitol, white supremacist groups represent a rising security threat while Donald Trump’s inflammatory remarks on China in connection with the COVID pandemic has enticed the hate-inspired attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
According to FBI data, he attacks on Asians increased to 274 from 158, prompting the US Senate in April to pass a hate crimes bill to combat violence against Asian Americans, while the number of incidents targeting Black people has increased to 2,755 from 1,930.
Faced with traditionally under-reported hate crimes nationwide, Garland outlined in May new measures to help state and local police track and investigate these cases, calling for the department to expedite the review of possible hate crimes.