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FBI report shows Phoenix is top city in Arizona for hate crimes

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated that more needs to be done to prevent hate crimes. At the same time, a new report shows that hate crimes are a problem in Arizona.

A report by the FBI shows there were 276 hate crimes reported in Arizona in 2015. The vast majority of those crimes happened in the state’s capital city.

Phoenix, with 1.5 million people, is triple the population of any other Arizona city. It had 231 of the crimes, including 137 of the 162 based on race/ethnicity, 40 of the 52 crimes based on religion and 49 of the 57 crimes based on sexual orientation. No other Arizona city came close.

Glendale finished second in the FBI report with eight of the crimes for the year and Tucson followed with four.

Lynch said the national report showed some troubling things.

“Among other alarming trends, the report showed a 67 percent increase in hate crimes committed against Muslim Americans,” Lynch said in a video.

“It also showed increases in the number of hate crimes committed against Jewish people, African-Americans and LGBT individuals.”

Lynch added there was another disturbing trend.

“Overall, the number of reported hate crimes increased six percent,” Lynch said. “(That’s) a number that does not account for the many hate crimes that may go unreported out of shame or fear.”

Lynch concluded that the nation has a long way to go to ensure that every American can live free from the fear of violence or harassment.

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