WKYT Interactive | Kentucky among worst states for spike in hate crimes

Published: Nov. 13, 2018 at 4:16 PM EST
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The FBI says hate crimes reported in Kentucky were up 83.5 percent in 2017 making the state among the ten worst for year-to-year increases.

Nationally, hate crimes reports were up about 17 percent in 2017 marking a rise for the third year in a row. There were increases in attacks motivated by racial bias, religious bias and because of a victim's sexual orientation.

The report, released Tuesday, shows there was a nearly 23 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes. There was a 37 percent spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker says the report is a "call to action." He says the offenses were "despicable violations of our core values as Americans."

The annual report shows that 378 of the more than 7,100 reported hate crimes last year happened in Kentucky.

The FBI says although the number of attacks has increased, so has the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate-crime data. However, the number of agencies reporting data in Kentucky only changed slightly from 405 in 2016 and to 409 in 2017.