Reported hate crimes — which include robberies, assaults, and other crimes — rose to 527 last year, up from 485 in 2018.

Por Alma Sacasa
Noviembre 17, 2020

On Monday, the FBI released a report that found that hate crimes against Latinos increased in 2019, putting them at their highest level since data collection began in the early 1990s. The report includes the mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart that took place last summer.

Of the 51 hate-motivated killings reported in 2019, 22 of the victims died in the El Paso massacre on August 3. Authorities said the gunman in that case was specifically targeting Latinos; there was some evidence that he had written and posted an anti-immigrant manifesto online shortly before the shooting. "It's clear it was not just a random attack," said Marisa Limón Garza, deputy director of the Hope Border Institute. "It's clear that this cannot be called someone with a mental illness. This illness is racism and xenophobia."

Credit: Alejandra Gonzalez Aragon/picture alliance via Getty Images

According to the FBI's findings, reported hate crimes — which include robberies, assaults, and other crimes — rose to 527 last year, up from the 485 reported in 2018. The reported number of hate crimes against Black people dropped slightly, from 1,943 to 1,930, while the reported number of religion-based hate crimes targeting Jewish institutions increased by 7 percent. More than half of the reported hate crimes were motivated by bias against race, ethnicity, or ancestry.

There were 7,314 reports of hate crimes last year, up from 7,120 the year before. The FBI's annual report defines hate crimes as those motivated by bias based on a person's race, religion, or sexual orientation, among other categories. The bureau said that the data are based on voluntary reporting by police agencies across the country. Last year, only 2,172 law enforcement agencies (out of about 15,000 participating agencies across the country) reported hate crimes.