OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The FBI says Nebraska and Iowa have seen a rise in hate crimes in recent years, most of which have been committed on the basis of race and ethnicity.
Eugene Kowel is the special agent in charge at the FBI's Omaha field office. At a news conference Thursday, he said the FBI region that includes Nebraska and Iowa has seen a 21% increase in the reporting of hate crimes in recent years.
Federal officials define a hate crime as a criminal offense, such as assault or arson, with an added element of bias against the intended target's race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender or gender identity.