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FBI: Hate crimes down slightly in 2011

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI says the number of hate crimes reported to police in 2011 declined slightly compared to the previous year.

Nearly half of the reported hate crimes in 2011 were motivated by racial bias, and one of every five hate crimes was motivated by a sexual orientation bias or religious bias. One in five was motivated by bias involving national origin or ethnicity.

Nearly 60 percent of the people who allegedly committed hate crimes were white. Some 20 percent were black.

The FBI has been collecting information on hate crimes for more than two decades. The highest-recorded number of hate crimes was in 2001, when 9,730 such crimes were reported.

Law enforcement agencies reported 6,222 hate crimes last year, compared to 6,628 in 2010 and 6,604 in 2009.

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