PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – A new study shows hate crimes are up in the U.S. and in Arizona.
SafeHome.org looked at FBI data from 2013 to 2017 and shows hate crimes rose 55% in Arizona in that time; that ranked us 14th in the nation in terms of percentage growth. Researchers say Phoenix was among the top five cities with the biggest increase in hate crimes. African American and Jewish communities were the most targeted groups. Race was the most common factor, followed by religion and sexual orientation.
There is no hate crime charge in Arizona. Imraan Siddiqi with The Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR Arizona, said it’s time for that to change.
“It’s important from a law enforcement perspective to have these laws on the books to really address the concerns of marginalized communities,” Siddiqi said.
He also said he believes social media is emboldening people.
“You can continuously reinforce these prejudices and hate through the vehicle of social media, so it’s serving as a radicalizing factor for a lot of people,” Siddiqi said.