CHICAGO (CBS)–Hate crimes rose by 24 percent last year, Chicago police data shows, with gay men and African Americans targeted more than other groups.
Records show 15 more hate crimes were reported in the city in 2018 compared to 2017 when police logged 62 total hate crimes.
Race, sexuality and religion were the primary motivators, according to data from Chicago police, which shows Jewish people were targeted more than all other religious groups.
Conversations about hate crimes moved front and center in January when Jussie Smollett, who is black and gay, told police he was targeted in an attack.
Smollett’s claims were discredited by a police investigation that led to a grand jury indicting the former ‘Empire’ actor for 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, but police data shows hate crime exists as a tangible problem in Chicago.
And being black and/or gay are the most common triggers for hate crimes, according to police statistics that show African Americans were targeted in 22 hate crimes in 2018–more than any other group.
Gay males were the second most-targeted group, with 13 homophobic attacks reported last year, the data shows.
Anti-semitic hate crimes were the third most common, with 12 last year. White people were the fourth most-commonly targeted group, with 11 anti-white hate crimes reported in 2018 in the city of Chicago.
The number of hate crimes saw a year-to-year increase in all those categories, except crimes against Jewish people, which fell by 25 percent in 2018, the data shows.
Muslims were targeted in three reported hate crimes last year, and one anti-Catholic hate crime was included in the data.