Hate crime reports in US surge to the highest level in 12 years, FBI says

A woman holds up a sign during a Stop Asian Hate rally at Discovery Green in downtown Houston earlier this year.

(CNN)More than 10,000 people reported to law enforcement last year that they were the victim of a hate crime because of their race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion or disability -- a number that has been on the rise in recent years, according to FBI's annual hate crime statistics report.

The report, released on Monday, found more than 7,700 criminal hate crime incidents were reported to the FBI in 2020, an increase of about 450 incidents over 2019. The increase comes even as fewer agencies reported hate crime incidents in their jurisdictions to the FBI than in previous years.
Last year had the highest tally of reported hate crime incidents since 2008, when 7,783 incidents were reported to the FBI.
      Attacks targeting Black people rose to 2,755 from 1,930, and the number targeting Asians jumped to 274 from 161, the data showed.
        The data released on Monday showed that bias against African Americans overwhelmingly comprised the largest category of reported hate crime offenses pertaining to race, with a total of 56% of those crimes motivated by anti-Black or African American bias. Asians have been targeted during the Covid-19 pandemic amid online and political rhetoric stigmatizing them, though this category of hate crime is often underreported.
          The category of hate crime inci