It was the second year in a row the number of reported hate crimes has increased, after a slight decrease from 2013 to 2014. More than 90 cities with more than 100,000 residents either affirmatively reported zero hate crimes or ignored the Federal Bureau of Investigation request for their 2016 hate crime data.
The bulk of the crimes in 2016 were motivated by the victim's race or ethnicity.
The SPLC contends that the actual number of hate crimes may be much higher.
Muslims and Jews were the most common targets in the US, with anti-Muslim bias making up the second highest religious bias at 25 percent behind anti-Jewish bias, which accounted for about 55 percent, making Jews the most targeted group in the U.S.
In bias incidents based on gender or sexuality, the majority of victims were gay men-62.7 percent of the 1,255 victims of sexual-orientation bias.
The new report showed a slight uptick in anti-Islamic and anti-Jewish hate crimes, which together made up 79 percent of reported hate crimes in which religion was the primary factor. Most of the crimes came in the form of intimidation, assault, or vandalism.
Today, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program released Hate Crime Statistics, 2016, its latest annual compilation of bias-motivated incidents reported throughout the U.S. "Hate crimes demand priority due to their special impact".
The report also reveals that approximately 46 percent of the 5,770 known offenders were White, 26 percent Black, and 7.7 percent were of multiple racial backgrounds. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said it would be a top focus of his Justice Department.
Stacy added that politicians must be more vigorous in addressing anti-LGBT bigotry and championing anti-discrimination policies, further noting that such strategies also "requires vigorous enforcement of hate crimes laws, which can deter and address violence motivated by bigotry". The letter cited examples of hate incidents, including the murder of seven transgender women of color, the February shooting targeting two Indian Hindu Americans in Kansas, and the numerous bomb threats against Jewish organizations and houses of worship, among others.