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FBI report: Hate crimes in Minnesota rose in 2020, following national trend

New numbers from the FBI show hate crimes across the country are the highest they've been in more than a decade.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Hate crimes in the United States hit a 12-year high in 2020, according to the FBI.

The 2020 FBI Hate Crime statistics revealed there were 7,759 hate crimes reported in 2020 — a 6% increase over 2019. 

About 64% of hate crimes reported in 2020 were motivated by bias against race, ethnicity or ancestry. 

"We're seeing hate crimes happen everywhere," said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). 

RELATED: President Biden signs bill to combat anti-Asian hate crimes

According to the FBI, in Minnesota there were 194 reported hate crimes in 2020. The last time it reached 194 was 16 years ago. That's up from the 140 reported hate crimes in Minnesota in 2019. Forty percent were anti-Black hate crimes — the most out of any group. 

Hussein said hate crimes are often underreported. 

The FBI also does not require law enforcement agencies to submit their data for the report. The 2020 FBI Hate Crime statistics for the nation were based on data received from 15,136 of 18,623 law enforcement agencies in the country. In Minnesota, 413 of 420 law enforcement agencies submitted data for 2020. 

"Their data collecting system is flawed and that's why we were trying to have a resolution passed this year that would allow for... a better system of tracking it but also a better system of identifying it as well," Hussein said. 

RELATED: Hate crimes bill moves forward in MN House

The bill did not move forward in the Minnesota Senate. 

The rise comes during the pandemic when Asian Americans have been the target of hate crimes. Hussein also worries about possible hate toward Afghan refugees now in the U.S. 

Hussein said organizations like CAIR-MN, Jewish Community Action and others are often the first places victims of hate crimes turn to. 

Hussein recalled what happened after a Moorhead mosque was vandalized earlier this summer, saying, "They didn't call the police. They called us first and that's the kind of trust and relationships that many of these organizations have with us." 

RELATED: Moorhead man charged with hate crime for vandalizing mosque

He went on to say, "We need legislation like the one we proposed to pass; we need the private sector to play their role; and we need the community to be vigilant and not to undermine the threats from white supremacy and hate groups across this country." 

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