Hate Crimes Up; Racial Incidents Dominate

FBI figures show 8% jump for 2006
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2007 5:26 PM CST
Mychal Bell, right, one of the Jena Six, listens while Rev. Al Sharpton speaks after leaving LaSalle Parish Courthouse in Jena, La., Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. Sharpton says Congress should expand hate...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hate crimes in the US rose 7.8% in 2006, with racially motivated attacks accounting for more than half of 7,722 reported incidents. Religious bias represented one-fifth of hate crimes, and cases of sexual orientation discrimination nearly 16%, the AP reports. Victims of racial bias are overwhelmingly black, according to the FBI's annual hate crimes report, released today.

Because the agencies with jurisdiction over Jena, La., didn't participate, the most notorious incident of the year wasn't included. The FBI relies on some 17,000 regional agencies for the statistics in its annual hate crimes report., and only 12,620 of those reported 2006 stats. The shortfall could mean that actual occurrences are much higher.