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Florida 'Hate Crimes' report released

Florida's Attorney General released the  2012 Hate Crimes report today.
Nine of those crimes were in our area.

The Escambia county sheriff's office investigated one battery related to race...

The Okaloosa Sheriff's Office one race-related assault...
Pensacola Police reported four aggravated assaults - three over race and one over sexual orientation.
And University of West Florida campus police reported three graffiti incidents - two race related, one over sexual orientation.

A sharp increase in hate crimes has caught the attention of the NAACP and other groups across Florida.

Dale Landry/NAACP: "Is it over? I don't think it's over; I think it's going to get worse."
For an act to be considered a hate crime

Gretl Plessinger/FDLE:  "A crime has to be initiated or perpetrated because of a bias against them."

The latest report shows a 22 percent increase in hate crimes. The majority of the 170 reported crimes were against racial minorities, with LGBT people being the number two target.  The numbers are the highest since 2008.

Matt Horn: "In the report - Attorney General Pam Bondi says hate crimes are senseless acts based on hatred... but groups are pointing at her and other state leaders for the rise in hate crimes."

Dale Landry/NAACP: "Things are starting to head back to where they were in the past because of a lack of leadership and a lack of a call of unity."

**While the number of hate crimes is up, it is still below the record 334 reported a decade ago.