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Hate crimes in North Carolina increased 12 percent last year, FBI says

The number of hate crimes reported in North Carolina rose by 12 percent in 2017, following a nationwide trend, the FBI reported Tuesday.

In its annual statistics, the federal crime-fighting agency listed 166 crimes in North Carolina motivated by race, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. That number rose from 148 in 2016 and 118 in 2013.

Nationally, the FBI said, hate crimes increased by 17 percent.

The state ranked 13th-highest nationwide for hate crimes last year. California, with a population nearly four times that of North Carolina, led the list with 1,094 hate crimes.

North Carolina’s population rose by 1.2 percent between 2016 and 2017.

States with fewer people but more hate-crime incidents last year include Arizona, 264; Kentucky, 378; Massachusetts, 427; Michigan, 456; New Jersey, 495; Ohio, 380; Virginia, 193; and Washington, 510.

Of the national total, the FBI said 59.6 percent stemmed from racial or ethnic bias — the most common motivation. The FBI cautioned that not all law enforcement agencies report these statistics.

Intimidation ranked as the most frequent hate crime aimed at people, making up 44.9 percent. The remaining cases directed at property were most often classified as vandalism.

The largest percentage of hate crimes nationwide were committed in or around homes and residences, the FBI said. Only 17 percent occurred on the street.

Josh Shaffer: 919-829-4818, @joshshaffer08
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