FBI: Hate Crime Rates Rose in 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI is reporting that the number of hate crimes increased last year by nearly 8 percent.

Police nationwide reported over 7,700 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property because of race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or physical or mental disability. That's an increase of more than 500 from 2005.

Racial prejudice continued to account for more than half the reported instances.

The noose hangings and beatings at a high school in Jena, Louisiana, weren't included in the report. Only 12,600 of the country's more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006. Jena and LaSalle Parish, where the town is located, were not among the agencies reporting.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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