WASHINGTON – Hate crimes in the United States rose to the highest level in more than a decade, according to an FBI report released Monday.
There were 51 murders for this motive in 2019, including 22 people who died in a shooting that targeted Mexicans at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso, Texas, in August 2019, according to the report.
Authorities said the suspect wanted to scare Hispanics into leaving the United States.
A total of 7,314 hate crimes were reported last year, compared to 7,120 the previous year.
The FBI’s annual report defines hate crimes as those motivated by prejudice based on a person’s race, religion, or sexual orientation, among other categories.
Some of the 2019 increases may be the result of better reporting by police departments, but authorities have no doubt that these crimes have also increased.
Proud Boys is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights organization.
The data also shows that religious crimes grew almost 7%, with 953 complaints against Jews and Jewish institutions last year, up from 835 the previous year.
The number of hate crimes against blacks dropped slightly to 1,930, from 1,943.
However, crimes against Hispanics increased to 527 in 2019 compared to 485 in 2018.
And the total number of crimes due to sexual orientation remained relatively stable, with one crime less reported last year, compared to the previous year; although 20 more hate crimes against gays were reported.