Miami Beach police charged a man Monday with attempted arson after he threatened to burn down a condominium and “kill all the Jews” inside. On July 12, a Los Angeles woman beat a Hispanic man with a brick and told him to go back to his country. In June, a man harassed a woman in Chicago in a public park for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rico flag on it. Hate crimes are increasing in many cities, USA Today reports. The total number of hate crimes reported in the 10 largest U.S. cities jumped in 2017, marking four straight years for an uptick in such incidents. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University found a 12.5 percent increase in incidents reported by police in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and San Jose, Ca. The number of hate crimes reported in those cities totaled 1,038, up from 923 in 2016.
In New York, nearly half of hate crimes last year were committed against Jewish people. In Los Angeles, gay men were targeted most. In Boston the largest demographic hit by hate crimes were African Americans. Brian Levin, co-author of the report, attributed the increases to greater “incivility” in politics, citing policies such as President Trump’s travel ban from several majority-Muslim countries. National events can also encourage these types of crimes, says Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center. After the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, crimes against Muslims were rampant, she said. The FBI reported 8,063 hate crimes in 2000 and 9,730 in 2001. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism forecasts a decline in hate crimes for the first half of 2018 from last year. “You didn’t have the kind of conflicting election that you had in 2016 or a big terrorist attack,” Levin said.