The number of hate crimes committed in the United States rose in 2016 for the second consecutive year, with African-Americans, Jews and Muslims targeted in numerous incidents, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in an annual report.
In bias incidents based on gender or sexuality, the majority of victims were gay men-62.7 percent of the 1,255 victims of sexual-orientation bias.
The bulk of the crimes in 2016 were motivated by the victim's race or ethnicity.
Of the 124 incidents based on gender identity, 19 targeted gender non-conforming people, a decrease of 54 percent from 2015.
More than half of the crimes committed based on race, ethnicity or ancestry bias were motivated by anti-black sentiments, according to the report.
Hate crimes in North Dakota appeared to drop for the second straight year in 2016, but authorities warn against making year-by-year comparisons because the number of participating agencies changes each year. "Hate crimes demand priority attention due to their special impact".
Singh said it will be hard for the country to mobilise political will and resources necessary to address the issue if law enforcement agencies fail to document true extent of hate crimes. Half of those incidents were targeted at African Americans, while a further 20.5 percent were attributable to anti-white bias.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who drew questions during his confirmation hearings about his opposition to a 2009 federal hate crimes law as a senator from Alabama, said Monday that the government should continue to "aggressively prosecute" anyone who violates a person's civil rights. Some of those hate-crimes involved Muslins, Jews, and members of the LGBT community.
There were 1,076 incidents involving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, with nearly two-thirds of those targeting gay men.
One such murder victim was transgender 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson, who was shot and killed in March of 2016 in what prosecutors have labeled a hate crime.