The FBI has reported an increase in hate crimes in the USA for a second consecutive year, with Hindus and Sikhs among those targeted in the more than 6,000 incidents of crimes motivated by biases towards religions, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
There were 10 incidents of hate-crimes against Hindus and seven against Sikhs in 2016 - the year of the rise of Donald Trump as a politician and his election as president. "Further, the suspect of the crime must be shown to have specifically targeted an individual or group because of an actual or perceived characteristic such as race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation". Crimes were also committed against victims due to their religion or sexual orientation.
Of the 124 incidents based on gender identity, 19 targeted gender non-conforming people, a decrease of 54 percent from 2015.
Most hate crimes, about 27 percent, happened at residences.
The increase reported by the FBI led some civil rights groups to call for more involvement from the federal government and state and local leaders in going after people who commit hate crimes. Also, approximately 84 percent of 4,100 known offenders were 18 years of age or older.
A bill that would've introduced a hate crime law in IN died in the legislature on the same day that the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center received a bomb threat.
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"It's deeply disturbing to see hate crimes increase for the second year in a row", said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.
More than half of the race-related incidents were anti-black, while some 20 per cent were anti-white.
The report was based on data voluntarily submitted by about 15,000 law enforcement agencies. The lack of mandatory reporting means that the Federal Bureau of Investigation data, while helpful, paints a very incomplete picture of hate crimes against LGBTQ Americans.
One such murder victim was transgender 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson, who was shot and killed in March of 2016 in what prosecutors have labeled a hate crime.
There were 1,076 incidents involving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, with nearly two-thirds of those targeting gay men.