Hate crime incidents in Southwest state have gone up dramatically in nearly two decades, according to the FBI’s annual hate crime statistics report.
Moreover, local law enforcement agencies have reported 282 hate crimes to the FBI last year. This is up from the 209 that occurred in the prior year. Also, it’s the highest number since 2001. That is when 386 hate crimes were reporting in Arizona.
The Level of Hate Crime is Cause for Concern
Carlos Galindo-Elvira says it’s alarming. She is director of community engagement and partnerships for Chicanos Por La Causa. She feels that anytime that there is an increase in crimes, it’s really a pause for concern.
Minority Groups are Adversely Hurt
There is a big number of hate crimes that are targeting the African American community. In fact, 114 were reported in 2020. That is up from the 88 the previous year. For Latinos, there are 31 crimes which are up from 23. Also, these crimes are against white people. They rose from 11 to 29. Moreover, they target members of the LGBTQ community. For Asians, these slightly increased.
For the last decade, in the category of religious affiliation, Anti-Jewish crimes took the top spot.
Political Rhetoric Is a Root Cause
There has been political rhetoric that does target specific groups which is primarily to blame. In fact, Galindo-Elvira said that does increase the hate crimes that are reporting.
Even with fewer law enforcement agencies that are reporting to the FBI, there is still an increase.
There were 81 of the 125 law enforcement agencies in Arizona which reported crime incidents. That was in their jurisdictions to the FBI. Moreover, it is down from 92 which are reporting the prior year.
Galindo-Elvria has asked: ““So does that mean that there might’ve been more crimes committing and not reporting?”
In fact, he does encourage law enforcement to report hate crimes “so we can really get a better picture of what is happening within our communities.”