Skip to Content
Crime

Hate crimes in U.S. reach highest level in more than a decade; El Paso Walmart shooting included in tally

Patrick Crusius
Pool
Accused mass shooter Patrick Crusius (center) appears in court during his arraignment last year on state murder charges.

WASHINGTON, DC — Hate crimes in the U.S. rose to the highest level in more than a decade as federal officials also recorded the highest number of hate-motivated killings since the FBI began collecting that data in the early 1990s, according to an FBI report released Monday.

There were 51 hate crime murders in 2019, which includes 23 people who were killed in a shooting that targeted Mexicans at the Cielo Vista Walmart in El Paso, the report said. The suspect, Patrick Crusius, in that August 2019 shooting, which left two dozen other people injured, was charged with both state and federal crimes in what authorities said was an attempt to scare Hispanics into leaving the United States.

Some of the 2019 increases may be the result of better reporting by police departments, but law enforcement officials and advocacy groups don't doubt that hate crimes are on the rise. The U.S. Justice Department has for years been specifically prioritizing hate crime prosecutions.

The data also shows there was a nearly 7% increase in religion-based hate crimes, with 953 reports of crimes targeting Jews and Jewish institutions last year, up from 835 the year before. The FBI said the number of hate crimes against African Americans dropped slightly to 1,930, from 1,943.

Anti-Hispanic hate crimes, however, rose to 527 in 2019, from 485 in 2018. And the total number of hate crimes based on a person's sexual orientation stayed relatively stable, with one fewer crime reported last year, compared with the year before, though there were 20 more hate crimes against gay men reported.

As the data was made public on Monday, advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, called on Congress and law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to improve data collection and reporting of hate crimes. Critics have long warned that the data may be incomplete, in part because it is based on voluntary reporting by police agencies across the country.

Last year, only 2,172 law enforcement agencies out of about 15,000 participating agencies across the country reported hate crime data to the FBI, the bureau said. And while the number of agencies reporting hate crimes increased, the number of agencies participating in the program actually dropped from the year before. A large number of police agencies appeared not to submit any hate crime data, which has been a consistent struggle for Justice Department officials.

An Associated Press investigation in 2016 found that more than 2,700 city police and county sheriff's departments across the country had not submitted a single hate crime report for the FBI's annual crime tally during the previous six years.

Greenblatt also said America must "remove the barriers that too often prevent people in marginalized communities – the individuals most likely to suffer hate crimes – from reporting hate-based incidents," a sentiment shared by other advocates.

"The FBI's report is another reminder that we have much work to do to address hate in America," said Margaret Huang, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

El Paso / News / Top Stories / US & World

Associated Press

Comments

7 Comments

  1. Exactly my point. Madmike approves of the hate crimes because of antifas, people who oppose his views. So per Madmike he’s ok with hate crimes. Madmike you are scum and no one cares or afraid of you and your like. Biden2020!!!!!!

  2. Madmike and his 5 buddies are cowards. Take their pistolas and couldn’t fend off a butterfly. Get all your fannys whooped. Call Larry Hopkins and ask him how’s it going without his gun. Lol. I hear he’s a dancer for the Aztecas and night company. Lol

Leave a Reply

Skip to content