Hate crime murders went up sharply to a record high of 51 last year from 24 the year before and overall hate crime incidents also increased, according to annual data released Monday by the FBI, CBS News reported.
This comes on the heels of 2018, which was already the deadliest year on record for victims of hate crimes since the FBI started tracking the data in the early 1990s, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
More than 20 of those murdered last year were in the El Paso mass killing, where the shooter was targeting Hispanics, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“When one individual is targeted by a hate crime, it hurts the whole community – that’s why people are feeling vulnerable and afraid,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.
The total incidents of hate crimes rose last year to 7,314 from 7,120 in 2018, a year in which such incidents had fallen slightly following three years of increases, CBS reported.
The ADL noted the number of incidents went up, even though the number of law enforcement agencies who take part in the federal data collection program has fallen over the past two years.
Bias against race, ethnicity, or ancestry, which accounted for 55.8% of all incidents, was the top motivation for hate crimes, followed by 21.4% motivated by bias against religion and 16.8% motivated by bias against sexual orientation.
Of race-based crimes, 48.4% were anti-Black in 2019, while of incidents motivated by religious bias, 60.3% were anti-Jewish.