U.S. hate crimes rose during fierce 2016 election, Federal Bureau of Investigation stats show

In 2016 members of the Ku Klux Klan burn a cross and swastika after a

The data released Monday by the federal law enforcement agency show there were 684 anti-Semitic hate crime incidents previous year, a 3 percent increase from the 664 recorded by the FBI in 2015.

Nationally, there were more than 6,100 hate crimes in 2016, up about 5 percent over the previous year. In 2015 and 2016, that number was driven by crimes against people due to their race or ethnicity.

More than half of those against people were assault cases, while almost 45 percent were crimes of intimidation. Most of the hate crimes were based on race and religion.

In 2015, 32 crimes were motivated by race, five by religion, and seven by sexual orientation.

"There's a risky disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported", said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.

- Hate crimes rose for the second straight year in 2016, with increases in attacks motivated by bias against blacks, Jews, Muslims and LGBT people, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics released Monday.

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Several civil rights groups believe that hate crimes increased past year, in part, because people were energized by the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric President Trump used when he was on the campaign trail. "There are many actions that have taken place over the past few years that show why you see people being emboldened by hate crimes in the country". Hate incidents increased from 203 in 2015 to 285 in 2016.

In California, the numbers also rose along with the rest of the nation: From 837 hate crimes in 2015 to 931 in 2016.

Since the election, discrimination against Muslims has increased and more Muslims say they fear for their place in American society.

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. During the first three months of 2017, the Anti-Defamation League recorded 541 anti-Semitic attacks, compared to 281 incidents in the same period in 2016.

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

Going forward. The FBI, through its UCR Program, will continue to collect and disseminate information on hate crime-as a means to educate and increase awareness of these types of crimes for the public as well as for law enforcement, government, community leaders, civic organizations, and researchers around the country.

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