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Politics

Hate crimes in Michigan on the rise

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New data from the FBI show that Michigan saw a significant uptick in hate crimes in 2016.

The data show that hate crimes increased by roughly 30 percent between 2015 and 2016 - from 309 to 399.

Agustin Arbulu is with the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. He said the commission was especially concerned about the incidents in K-12 schools.

“The Michigan Departments superintendent along with us issued a joint statement.  This was a concern to us to make sure that we impress upon the school districts of promoting a safe and secure environment for learning.”

Arbulu said hate crimes seem to have ramped up during and after the 2016 election.

“What I would say is the rhetoric has been ratcheted up. We have fallen away from having meaningful dialogue and discourse in a civilized manner.”

The increase in hate crimes ranks Michigan fourth in the nation, but Arbulu warns the numbers can be deceptive because not all states are as thorough in reporting hate crimes.

Still, he says, there is no question hate crimes have been on the rise.