Hate-crime killings in US set record in 2019, FBI reveals

TEHRAN, Nov. 17 (MNA) – Hate-crime murders reached a record last year in the US, due in large part to the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that officials say was motivated by anti-immigrant bias, according to new figures released by FBI.

There were 51 hate crime killings in 2019, the highest number since the FBI began tabulating such figures in the early 1990s, WAtoday reported.

The 2019 data also showed a significant increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes, rising 14 percent from the prior year, which accounted for almost all growth in religiously motivated bias crimes. Bias crimes targeting Muslims declined slightly, while those targeting Christians remained nearly flat.

While religiously motivated hate crimes increased, those targeting people for their race, ethnicity or ancestry declined slightly overall - despite the bloodshed in Texas.

The FBI's hate crime data is the most comprehensive in the country, but critics say it offers an incomplete portrait of bias incidents due to the small percentage of police agencies that report such crimes to the FBI.

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