Yesterday, the FBI released its annual hate crime statistics report. The report documented more than 7,700 hate crime incidents last year, about 450 more than were reported in 2019. 2020 saw the highest number of reported hate crime incidents since 2008. The increase comes as even fewer law enforcement agencies reported hate crimes in their jurisdictions to the FBI than in prior years. Attacks targeting Black people rose to 2,755 from 1,930 last year, and attacks on Asian-Americans rose to 271 from 164. According to the report, 62 percent of victims were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, and 13 percent were targeted because of their religion.
Because law enforcement agencies are not required to submit their data to the FBI for its annual report, the recently released statistics are likely an undercount. More than 3,000 of the nation’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies did not submit their 2020 statistics to the FBI.
In a statement, CAIR (The Council on American-Islamic Relations) Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw said:
“The disturbing rise in hate crime incidents nationwide requires the attention and effort of all law enforcement agencies. The fact that the actual number of hate crime incidents is likely much higher than the statistics provided in Monday’s FBI report highlights the pressing need for communication and coordination between agencies.
“We call on Congress and the Biden administration to work together to require the federal government to condition any aid, grants, training, or other assistance to local law enforcement agencies on their agreement to submit regular and complete data regarding hate crime incidents targeting minority communities.
“This should help dramatically increase the number of law enforcement agencies that track and report data regarding these incidents, which is a crucial step toward combating the rising tide of hate and bigotry.”