San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon Tuesday connected anti-immigrant rhetoric made by President Donald Trump to a rise in hate crimes last year in the U.S.
According to the FBI's annual Hate Crime Statistic report, released Tuesday, in 2017 the number of hate crimes nationwide increased by 17 percent compared to the previous year.
"America's elected President has mocked the disabled, called Mexicans rapists and murderers, executed a Muslim travel ban, issued disparaging remarks about women and African Americans, and is working to roll back protections for members of our Transgender community," Gascon said in as statement. "The country's increase in hate crimes should be a surprise to no one, but it should be alarming to all. We look to our elected leaders to set an example. They're on television and in the news, and our children perceive them as role models. The president's campaign of fear has emboldened hate and a growing white nationalist movement that is responsible for far more domestic attacks than any international terror group," he said.
According to the report, 43 hate crimes were reported in San Francisco last year, an increase from 37 in 2016. Of the hate crimes last year, 19 were classified as being about race, ethnicity or ancestry, while 8 were about religion, 12 were about sexual orientation and four pertained to gender identity.
Gascon is encouraging anyone who is the victim of a hate crime or who may know a victim to report it by calling 911.