Report shows Hate Crimes rise in US in time of division and foreign interference

Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism has recently released a report titled “REPORT TO THE NATION: HATE CRIMES RISE IN U.S. CITIES AND COUNTIES IN TIME OF DIVISION & FOREIGN INTERFERENCE

The first section of the report, authored by Criminal Justice professor, Brian Levin, assisted by assistant professor, John David Reitzel, is printed below.  Click on the link at the bottom of this page to read the entire report.

Hate Crime in Largest U.S. Cities Rise 12% to Highest Level in Over a Decade

Hate crimes reported to police in America’s ten largest cities rose 12.5 percent in 2017. The increase was the fourth consecutive annual rise in a row and the highest total in over a decade according to an analysis by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. In contrast to the increase in hate crime in the ten largest cities last year, crime in general dropped slightly across the nation in the first half of 2017, with preliminary FBI figures showing a 0.8 percent decrease in violent crime and a 2.9 percent decrease in property crime.

The 2017 ten city total of 1,038 hate crimes also marked the first time in more than a decade that the combined number of official reports have exceeded one thousand. In a larger sample of over three dozen large local agencies, the study found a near identical increase of 12 percent last year. The five largest cities reported a more moderate rise of 8.2 percent because of declines in New York and Chicago —cities that posted double digit percentage increases the year before. Partial year 2018 data, available for only some jurisdictions including New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Nassau County, NY also show notable declines, while Washington DC is up. Of the larger sample of American cities surveyed, those reporting the highest number of hate crimes last year were: New York at 339, down two percent; Los Angeles, 254, up 10.8 percent; Phoenix, 230, up 33 percent; Washington, D.C., 179, up 67 percent and Boston with 140, down almost two percent. The cities reporting the lowest number of hate crimes were Miami with none and Honolulu with one. The cities with the highest per capita number of reports, often a sign of superior reporting practices and response include Eugene, OR; Cincinnati, OH, Washington, DC, and Boston, MA.

Along with the usual variables possibly impacting intergroup relations such as demographic changes, underlying communal stressors and catalytic events was another previously unknown one that recently emerged. Russian operatives engaged in an orchestrated manipulation of social media which they ramped up late in 2016, the majority of which revolved around dividing the nation along racial lines. Examples of these web postings as well as data from he relevant time period are presented later in this report.

The ramp up of Russian web activity during the election cycle coincided with a dramatic spike in hate crimes nationally which corresponded to the worst fourth quarter in eight years and the worst November ever. The late year 2016 increases were so great that for some cities, like New York and Chicago, large year over year increases for the first three quarters of 2017 evaporated into declines once full year data was tabulated and compared with the previous year.

Read the full report ›

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