Hate crimes across the US rose to their highest level in more than a decade last year, the agency said Monday.
The US saw 7,314 hate crimes in 2019, up from 7,120 in 2018 — and the highest level in 12 years, according to a new FBI report.
Fifty-one people were killed in hate attacks in 2019 — including the 22 murdered in an El Paso Walmart massacre that authorities say was carried out by a gunman targeting Hispanics.
That is the highest number of hate-motivated murders since the FBI began tracking such statistics in the early 1990s.
The FBI’s annual report defines hate crimes as those motivated by bias based on a person’s race, religion or sexual orientation, among other categories.
Religious groups have been increasingly targeted, as officials saw a nearly 14 percent increase in attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions, the report found.
That surge in violence was felt acutely in New York City, with Mayor