Queer bodies are under attack, according to the FBI.
This week, the Federabl Bureau of Investigation released its hate crime statistics for 2016. The data reflect an uptick in anti-LGBTQ violence, especially violence against transgender individuals.
In 2016, of the 6,121 hate crimes reported in the United States, 1,076 were based on sexual orientation (a two percent increase from the previous year) while 124 were based on gender identity a nine percent increase from 2015.
When you break down the 124 gender identity-related hate crimes, 19 targeted gender non-conforming people, which is actually a 54 percent decrease from 2015. However, crimes targeting transgender people increased 44 percent to 124 incidents.
As the Human Rights Campaign points out, these numbers are most likely lower than the actual number of hate crimes against transgender people this year. Reporting hate crimes to the FBI isn’t mandatory and any data captured is incomplete. According to the HRC, several jurisdictions with more than 250,000 people were among the law enforcement entities that didn’t report their data to the FBI, either reporting zero hate crimes or ignoring the agency’s request for data.
In a statement, HRC’s government affairs director David Stacy called on the Trump administration to do more to respond to hate crimes.
“The numbers in this report are harrowing, and we know that a majority of hate crimes go unreported to the FBI and aren’t reflected in this report,” Stacy wrote. “HRC supports mandating that local jurisdictions report hate crimes statistics to the federal government.”
Stacy also called attention to the 25 transgender women who have been reported murdered in the U.S. so far this year, most of whom have been transgender women of color. The latest case of trans homicide happened in Macon, Georgia, when 30-year-old Candace Towns was found dead.
Attorney general Jeff Sessions did send federal prosecutors to Iowa to help prosecute the homicide of transgender individual Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson. However, some community advocates didn’t take Sessions’ move as a good move, and instead part of his anti-trans, pro-punishment agenda.
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