ADL calls for action after FBI report indicates increase in hate crimes

Over half of religiously-motivated crimes targeted Jews, and a further 25% targeted Muslims, according to the FBI's latest data.

Swastika and the word "Raus" (Out) are sprayed at a asylum seeker accommodation in Waltrop, western Germany, on October 13, 2015. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Swastika and the word "Raus" (Out) are sprayed at a asylum seeker accommodation in Waltrop, western Germany, on October 13, 2015.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
NEW YORK – According to the FBI’s 2016 Hate Crime Statistics report, African Americans, Jews and Muslims are targeted more often than any other religious or ethnic group in the United States.
The report noted that more than 6,100 hate crimes took place last year, about 5% higher than in 2015. This is the second year in a row that an increase in incidents has been recorded.
More than half of the racially-motivated incidents – 54.2% – targeted Jews. This represents a slight increase in anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the Bureau’s 2016 report. A quarter of the targets reported were Muslims.
Of the cases, 1,739 were documented as antiblack or anti-African America, while 20% were against White Americans and 10% against Hispanic or Latino Americans.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed disappointment from the increase in hate crimes nationwide and said that in some cities there may be underreported cases of hate crimes.
Earlier this month, the ADL released a report saying that in the first nine months of 2017 there was a 67% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the US. Another report, published by ADL in April, recorded 1,266 anti-Semitic incidents in the US in 2016, a sharp increase of 34% from 2015.
“It’s deeply disturbing to see hate crimes increase for the second year in a row,” said ADL head Jonathan 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 trends, ADL announced an interactive hate crime map that displays FBI data from reports between 2004 and 2016 for cities with more than 100,000 residents.
It gives users the ability to navigate hate crime data and laws at the city, statewide and national levels, and breaks out information on crimes against a broad spectrum of targeted populations.
According to the ADL, the map shows “which large cities may have underreported hate crimes in their city – or not reported at all”.
“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 the Justice Department and FBI officials – to address hate crime underreporting,” he concluded