Hate crimes in Florida increased by 102% between 2013 and 2017


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Hate crimes remain widely underreported in America, but a new look at the data says Florida has witnessed a massive spike since 2013.

According to a report from SafeHome, a home security provider, publicly available FBI data shows that Florida experienced a 102% percentage increase in hate crimes from 2013-2017. (The 2017 data is the most recent compiled by the FBI.) That's high enough for the state to rank No. 8 in a national comparison of the biggest rise in hate crimes in that time period. The five states with the biggest rise in hate crimes were Wyoming, Georgia, Vermont, Delaware and Washington, D.C., says the study.

It probably goes without saying, but the Department of Justice defines a hate crime as a crime in which the motivation for committing it was based on bias.

Racial animosity was the most common reason behind single-bias offenses, according to the analysis, which added that the next most common bias is religion. Behind that are crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

“African-Americans were far and away the most likely to be victimized,” according to the analysis. Jewish people were most likely to be targeted based on religion. Also notable is that 88% of incidents involved perpetrators who were at least partially identified, meaning some aspect about them was known to victims or witnesses.

“More than half of known offenders in 2017 were white,” the analysis stated, “though it’s important to note that nearly 1 in 5 known offenders were of an unknown race.”

That alarming figure may have something to do with Florida’s increasingly serious problem with right-wing extremists.

In January, the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism released a study which found that, from 2017 to 2018, extremist groups in the Sunshine State have accounted for 197 incidents, including five murders/mass shootings, five terror plots and one police shootout. Extremist groups also held seven rallies and were responsible for 83 instances of propaganda distribution.

Of those reported incidents in Florida, 98 involved right-wing extremist groups – the largest margin for any particular grouping by far. Two of those reported incidents were related to Islamic groups, and one was related to a left-wing extremist group.

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