FBI data shows 18 hate crimes logged in South Dakota in 2016

By Steve Neavling

By Steve Neavling

In incidents where the perpetrators were identified, the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that about 58% of crimes were motivated by the victims' race, ethnicity or ancestry.

The FBI released its 2016 hate crime statistics report Monday.

However, a report issued last month by the Maryland State Police showed a 40 percent increase in hate "incidents" in the state in 2016.

Another 21.0 percent were for religion, and 17.7 percent sexual orientation.

Dozens of cities with more than 100,000 residents either reported zero hate crimes or did not submit their hate crime data, according toananalysis by the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights organization, which has called for better reporting.

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An unrelated report released in February found the number of hate groups in the U.S.

Anti-black bias accounted for the largest number of crimes motivated by a single bias, with 1,739 incidents reported. And the number of anti-Muslim groups almost tripled, to 101 a year ago, from 34 in 2015, the SPLC said.

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.

Even before a Trump presidency gave us an executive order barring immigrants from several Muslim-majority countries and a ban against transgender troops serving in the military, hate crimes in the United States increased in 2016, the second year in a row.

More than half of those against people were assault cases, while almost 45 percent were crimes of intimidation.

On Monday, Sessions said the Justice Department is awaiting a full report from a task force on steps it can take to improve training for prosecutors and investigators, boost data collection on hate crimes and partner with local officials and communities.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said it would be a top focus of his Justice Department.

There were 1,273 crimes based on religion. Incidents targeting Muslims rose 19 percent from 257 to 307 incidents. Crimes motivated by bias against Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians both declined. One in 6 people were also targeted due to their sexual orientation, the report said. No reported crimes were motivated by a disability, gender or gender identity.

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