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Illustration by Security Management

FBI Reports Another Rise in Hate Crime in 2020

Hate crime in the United States hit a 12-year high in 2020, according to the latest numbers from the FBI.

The FBI received reports of more than 10,000 offenses that were motivated by bias against race, gender, sexuality, religion, or disability in 2020, and the number of crimes against Asian and Black Americans surged 70 and 40 percent, respectively. Hate crimes in the United States have increased almost every year since 2014.

In 2020, there were 7,554 single-bias incidents and 205 multiple-bias hate crime incidents. Among single-bias cases, 61.9 percent of victims were targeted because of race, ethnicity, or ancestry, 20.5 percent because of their sexual orientation, 13.4 percent because of their religion, and 2.5 percent because of their gender identity.

Reporting hate crime incidents to the FBI is not required by many law enforcement agencies, and many victims never come forward, so these numbers are likely significantly lower than the actual rate of hate crime.

The majority of reported cases against persons were classified as intimidation (53.4 percent), followed by simple assault (27.6 percent) and aggravated assault (18.1 percent). There were 22 murders and 19 rapes that were reported as hate crimes in 2020.

Among known offenders—meaning that some aspect of the suspect was identified—55.2 percent were white, and 20.2 percent were Black.

Among victims, Black Americans had the highest percentage of reported incidents—amounting to 2,755. There were 274 anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020, which some advocates link to anti-Asian rhetoric around the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the BBC.

According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, anti-Asian hate crimes spiked 149 percent across 16 of the largest cities in the United States between 2019 and 2020.

Location-wise, 28.3 percent of reported hate crimes occurred in or near residences, and 19.9 percent occurred on highways, roads, alleys, streets, or sidewalks.