Hate crimes reported to police in America’s 10 largest cities went up by 12.5 percent in 2017, according to a new analysis, making it the fourth consecutive year U.S. hate crime reports in those areas have increased.

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism released a report last week examining 2017 police data on hate crimes from 38 jurisdictions across the U.S. The study also registered the highest number of total hate crimes in the 10 largest cities in more than a decade.

When researchers expanded their analysis to include the data from all 38 jurisdictions, they found a similar overall increase of 12 percent in 2017 compared with 2016. Hate crimes went up in seven of the 10 largest cities in America. And the study notes that while reports decreased in Chicago and New York in 2017 (by 14 and two percent, respectively) those cities had seen multi-year hate crime highs in 2016.

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, and professor at California State University, San Bernardino, where the Center is housed, co-authored the study. He noted the possible role that Russian social media influence may have had on simmering tensions, citing a May 2018 content analysis by USA Today that shows a significant portion of Russian ads were targeted toward exacerbating existing racial divisions….

Southern Poverty Law Center