The FBI on Monday released a damning report, showing that hate crimes in the United States in 2019 reached their highest level since 2008 when Barack Obama was elected into office.
The FBI defines hate crimes as crimes motivated by bias based on a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, origin, among other categories.
The year 2019 also recorded the highest number of hate-motivated killings since the FBI began collecting the data in the early 1990s.
The report said there were 51 hate crime murders in 2019, including 22 people who were killed in a shooting that targeted Mexicans at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso, Texas.
According to the report, there were 7,314 hate crimes last year, up from 7,120 the year before, and approaching the 7,783 of 2008 when President Barack Obama was elected into office.
The data shows there was nearly 7 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes, with 953 reports of crimes targeting Jews and Jewish institutions last year, up from 835 the year before.
According to the FBI, the number of hate crimes targeting African Americans dropped slightly to 1,930 from 1,943.
Anti-Hispanic hate crimes rose to 527 last year from 485 in 2018.
The number of hate crimes based on sexual orientation stayed relatively stable, though there were 20 more hate crimes against gay men reported.