Big­otry pros­per­ing

Re­ported hate crimes on the rise in Cap­i­tal Re­gion.

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - By Sara Cline

When Laquan Madi­son woke up the night of May 14, 2017, to use the bath­room, he saw a ter­ri­fy­ing or­ange glow out­side.

Mo­ments later, Madi­son, his wife and their five chil­dren fled their Schodack home.

They watched their garage, which had been de­faced by racial ep­i­thets and swastikas, burn to the ground.

A 15-year-old boy, who is white, was later ar­rested in con­nec­tion to burn­ing the garage of the Madis­ons, who are black. He was charged with ar­son, bur­glary, crim­i­nal mis­chief and seven counts of reck­less en­dan­ger­ment.

The in­ci­dent was one of 16 hate crimes in the Cap­i­tal Re­gion in 2017, ac­cord­ing to the FBI.

The bu­reau’s hate crime statis­tics, re­leased ear­lier this month, show a rise in hate crimes lo­cally as well as na­tion­ally.

The FBI de­fines hate crimes as those mo­ti­vated by bias based on a per­son’s race, re­li­gion, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der, gen­der iden­tity or dis­abil­ity.

Across the United States, there were 7,175 re­ported hate crimes in 2017 — a 17 per­cent in­crease from 2016.

In the Cap­i­tal Re­gion, the 16 re­ported hate crimes rep­re­sent an in­crease of 30 per­cent over 2016’s 12 in­ci­dents.

Most of 2017’s hate crimes — 12 of them — tar­geted peo­ple based on race, eth­nic­ity or an­ces­try, based on the sta-


Ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent Cap­i­tal Re­gion Sta­tis­ti­cal Re­port by the Cap­i­tal Re­gion Cham­ber of Com­merce, 84 per­cent of the re­gion’s pop­u­la­tion was white in 2014.

About 9 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion was black, 4 per­cent were Asian, and the re­main­ing were listed as other. (The re­port did not list the His­panic pop­u­la­tion.)

The other four hate crime in­ci­dents in the Cap­i­tal Re­gion tar­geted

peo­ple based on re­li­gion.

In New York over­all, acts mo­ti­vated by bias against race and re­li­gion were the two most nu­mer­ous types of hate crimes.

Po­lice agen­cies in New York re­ported 552 hate crimes to the FBI, a 7 per­cent de­crease from 2016.

Al­though the state’s num­ber de­creased, New York re­ported the sec­ond­most hate crimes of 2017 be­hind Cal­i­for­nia, which re­ported 1,094.

To view the hate crime statis­tics for the New York, visit www.ucr.fbi. gov/hate-crime/2017/ ta­bles.

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