The number of hate crimes in the United States rose to its highest level in more than a decade last year, driven by an increase in attacks targeting black victims and victims of Asian descent, the FBI reported Monday.
The 2020 data, submitted to the FBI by more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies across the country, identified 7,759 hate crimes in 2020, a 6 percent increase from 2019 and the highest number since 2008.
The US Department of Justice has warned that: white racist groups are a growing security threat after the deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6.
At the same time, there have also been reports of hate-inspired attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, spurred on by what many believe were former President Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments blaming China for the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland outlined new steps to help state and local law enforcement detect and investigate hate crimes, which have historically been underreported to the FBI by local law enforcement agencies, and called on the Department to assess potential hate crimes.