Federal Bureau of Investigation data shows 18 hate crimes logged in South Dakota in 2016

Henry Taylor

More specifically, approximately 50 percent of the crimes were related to racial bias against Blacks, while 20 percent represented bias against Whites, 11 percent represented bias against Hispanics/Latinos, and 7 percent represented bias against American Indian and Asian groups. And Jews were targeted in more than half the 1 538 crimes that were motivated by religion.

Of the 124 incidents based on gender identity, 19 targeted gender non-conforming people, a decrease of 54 percent from 2015. Some of those hate-crimes involved Muslins, Jews, and members of the LGBT community.

The number of hate crimes against Hindus, whose numbers are estimated to be around of 2.1 million, were not listed separately in the 2014 Federal Bureau of Investigation report, but have figured independently in the next two annual reports -with five in 2015 and 10 in 2016. That is a 4.6 increase from the year before, though 257 more law enforcement agencies contributed to the report in 2016 than in 2015. "Hate crimes demand priority due to their special impact". And while the number of jurisdictions reporting hate crimes data increased to 15,251 in 2016 from 14,997 in 2015, this is still less than the 15,494 agencies that reported in 2014.

About 58 percent of the hate crimes were motivated by race, with about half the incidents targeting black Americans.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who drew questions during his confirmation hearings about his opposition to a 2009 federal hate crimes law as a senator from Alabama, said Monday that the government should continue to "aggressively prosecute" anyone who violates a person's civil rights. In all, nine murders and 24 rapes were reported as hate crimes. There were 131 incidents of bias against transgender or gender non-conforming people, making up 1.7 percent of all incidents.

"I was pleased to learn on November 3, 2017 that the trial resulted in a conviction, and the man now faces life in prison", Sessions said of the Johnson case in his response to the report.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", Sessions said in a statement.