Hate Crime Statistics Released

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Anti-Jewish incidents rose by three percent, anti-black hate crime fell by 0.3 percent and anti-Asian offenses remained flat, the report showed.

Sikh Coalition national advocacy manager Sim Singh told NPR that the seven anti-Sikh hate crimes recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation past year "represents the tip of the iceberg".

As part of the 2016 report, participants in UCR's Hate Crime Statistics Program included 15,254 law enforcement agencies.

Nationally, there were more than 6,100 hate crimes in 2016, up about 5 percent over the previous year.

The FBI specified that about 58 percent of hate crimes in 2016 were motivated by racial prejudice, with more than half of those incidents targeting black Americans.

The stats break down the hate crimes by motivation including: race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity.

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Meanwhile, 21% of crimes were motivated by religion and almost 18% by a victim's sexual orientation.

At the time, Cobb police said the higher number could be attributed to a computer system that lets officers designate an incident as a hate crime.

In an interview with KTVU on Monday, Anti-Defamation League regional director Seth Brysk said that his organization noticed a "sharp increase" of hate during the presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump kicked off past year.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is now engaging with state and local leaders and to find ways to better prevent and prosecute hate crimes.

It is crucial to note, however, while this is the most comprehensive report of hate crimes, it is still incomplete. In Maryland, such crimes declined from 43 in 2015 to 37 in 2016. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said it would be a top focus of his Justice Department. In the meantime, Session said, the department can continue to aggressively prosecute people who violate the civil rights of others.

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