Hate crime incidents rose nearly 8 percent last year, the FBI reported, as civil rights advocates increasingly take to the streets to protest what they call official indifference to intimidation and attacks against blacks and other minorities.
Police across the United States reported 7,722 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property as a result of bias against a race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin or physical or mental disability. That was up 7.8 percent from 7,163 incidents reported in 2005.
More than half the incidents were motivated by racial prejudice, but the report did not even pick up all the racially motivated incidents last year.
Although the noose incidents and beatings among students at Jena, Louisiana, high school occurred in the last half of 2006, they were not included in the report. Only 12,600 of the nation's more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006 and neither Jena nor LaSalle Parish, in which the town is located, were among the agencies reporting.
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