Hate crimes against sexual orientation increased in 2021: FBI

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(NEW YORK) -- Hate crimes in the United States remained at the same level in 2021 as they were in 2020, the FBI said Monday, even as hate crimes based on a person's sexual orientation increased.

However, the FBI also said there was a nearly 30% drop in police agencies that reported data in 2021, because of the new way the data was reported to the FBI, making it difficult to meaningfully compare 2021 statistics to years past, an FBI official said on a conference call with reporters.

Some of the agencies that didn't report data were from bigger city agencies, but the FBI did not say which ones.

The FBI said 64.8% of victims were targeted because of their offenders' bias against race and ethnicity, 15.6% were targeted because of the offenders' bias toward their sexual orientation and 13.3% were targeted because of their religion.

"The bias groups of sexual orientation and disability showed increases in reported hate-crime incidents and bias-related incidents of anti-Asian and anti-Native Hawaiian [and] other Pacific Islander also increased in 2021, as well as a number of non-juvenile offenders connected to reported hate crimes," a senior FBI official told reporters on a conference call Monday.

In total there were more than 8,000 victims of a hate crime, the FBI said, adding 44.2% were for intimidation, 35.9% were simple assault and 18.3% were aggravated assault.

The Justice Department has charged 60 people with hate crimes and secured convictions against 55 people since 2021, a senior DOJ official said.

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