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A Hate Crime Law Would Improve Safety

14 November 2017

Hate crimes in Minnesota rose for the second straight year in 2016, with the bulk of crimes motivated by the victim's race or ethnicity. Data were collected from more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies, covering 289 million Americans in 2016.

The specific data for both Iowa and Nebraska can be found to the side of this article.

Minnesota reported 119 hate crimes previous year, up from 109 in 2015. Muslims were targeted in 307 religion-based crimes, up 19 percent from 2015 and double the number in 2014. The number of participating agencies also varies from year to year.

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The figures are a big drop from 2015, when the state reported 36 hate crimes.

According to the report, there were 6,063 single-bias incidents involving 7,509 victims of which approximately 59 percent were targeted because on racial, ethnic and/or ancestral bias; 21 percent because of religious bias, 17 percent on sexual orientation bias, 2 percent on gender identity bias, 1 percent on disability bias, and 0.5 percent on gender bias. "The numbers in this report are harrowing, and we know that a majority of hate crimes go unreported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and aren't reflected in this report".

In terms of location, the report reveals that approximately 27 percent of the incidents occurred at or near residences or homes; 18 percent near highways, roads, alleys, streets or sidewalks; 10 percent near schools or colleges; 6 percent near parking lots and garages; and 4 percent near churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques.

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Most hate crimes, about 27 percent, happened at residences. In March, HRC joined 155 other civil and human rights organizations [ www.hrc.org/blog/156-civil-and-human-rights-groups-call-for-stronger-response-to-hate-incide ] in urging the Trump administration to more strongly respond to bias-motivated acts of violence and intimidation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who drew questions during his confirmation hearings about his opposition to a 2009 federal hate crimes law as a senator from Alabama, said Monday that the government should continue to "aggressively prosecute" anyone who violates a person's civil rights.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", Sessions said.

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A Hate Crime Law Would Improve Safety