U.S. hate crimes rise for second straight year

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Religious bias motivated 1,538 hate crimes a year ago - over half against Jews, and about one-quarter against Muslims.

In Ogden there were 4 reports of hate crimes against someone's sexual orientation; in all there were nine reports of sexual orientation hate crimes.

Nationally, there were more than 6,100 hate crimes in 2016, up about 5 percent over the previous year.

"Anti-Black or African American bias" still make up the overwhelming cases of racial hate crimes in America.

Hate crimes happened in a variety of locations.

Experts caution there is a big caveat with Federal Bureau of Investigation data: It's based on voluntary reporting from more than 15,000 police agencies across the country.

As part of the 2016 report, participants in UCR's Hate Crime Statistics Program included 15,254 law enforcement agencies.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is now engaging with state and local leaders and to find ways to better prevent and prosecute hate crimes. "They not only hurt one victim, but they also intimidate and isolate a victim's whole community and weaken the bonds of our society", said ADL chief Jonathan A. Greenblatt.

About half the 1,273 incidents involving religion were against Jews while Muslims were targeted in 307 religion-based crimes.

In California, the numbers also rose along with the rest of the nation: From 837 hate crimes in 2015 to 931 in 2016. In Maryland, such crimes declined from 43 in 2015 to 37 in 2016.

"No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe or how they worship", he said. Crimes motivated by gender identity-bias accounted for 124 incidents. Utah Highway Patrol saw the highest number of race-related hate crimes with 10 incidents reported.

Amid a wave of bomb threats against Jewish centers in March, the SPLC said the heated campaign had fueled an increase in the "use of slurs and other derogatory language" across the U.S.

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