| Study: LA County reports the highest number of hate crimes in 12 years

Hate crimes in LAThe Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations released its annual analysis of hate crimes reported across Los Angeles County for the 2020 calendar year on Thursday. Since 1980, LACCHR has compiled, analyzed, and compiled this annual report of data submitted by over 100 law enforcement agencies on hate crime to agencies, educational institutions, and community-based organizations.

The total number of all reported hate crimes in Los Angeles County rose 20% from 530 to 635. Under the guidance and support of the Board of Directors, LACCHR and its partners have worked to prevent hate in LA County, including the introduction of the LA vs Hate- Initiative in 2020.

For the full report, including hate crime maps, graphs, and tables, click [here]. For specific race / ethnicity data and examples, click [here] for hate crimes against African Americans click here for anti-latino / a-hate crimes and [here] for anti-Asian hate crimes.

“Similar to national trends, hate crimes and incidents have increased across the board in Los Angeles County,” said Hilda L. Solis, chairwoman of the Los Angeles County’s board of directors and supervisor of the first district. “This report is another alarming reminder that we still have a long way to go to build a more inclusive and just society. The LA vs. Hate initiative, which was launched with a proposal I wrote in 2019, continues to be an important tool for the county to combat hate. “

“The numbers in this report represent real people in our county who have been subjected to targeted violence because of their existence and religious beliefs,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “We know the 20 percent increase in hate crime in 2020 doesn’t explain the acts of hate that are never reported. I commend the LA County’s Human Relations Commission for this annual report and for helping to improve data collection and provide culturally literate resources with initiatives like LA vs Hate. Our work is not about preventing violence or protecting survivors. It is our shared responsibility to oppose all forms of hatred. “

“Despite the many victories that have been won for LGBTQ equality over the past few decades, this report makes it clear that homophobia has not gone away,” said Sheila Kuehl, LA district manager. “Hate crimes committed because of the sexual orientation of a victim have increased by 17% in the last year and include a significantly higher rate of violence than offenses based on race or religion. This country’s struggle for justice and integration is largely incomplete, and I urge everyone in LA County to join in efforts to counter these attempts to frighten and harm our valued minorities. “

“The pandemic has exacerbated so many problems that already existed in our society, including hatred and prejudice,” said regulator Janice Hahn. “It is a tragedy that in 2020 so many of the same communities hardest hit by COVID-19 fell victim to this worrying surge in hatred and violence.”

“It is unfortunate that hate crimes persist in LA County,” said supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose fifth district includes the Santa Clarita Valley. “Arson against the San Gabriel Mission was a particularly outrageous act. Hate crimes against religious goods have only increased in the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Awareness and understanding of the problems that induce individuals to commit these crimes will go a long way in promoting healing and prevention. Hopefully one day we will no longer have to publish data on hate crime because it will no longer exist. ”

“The Human Relations Commission’s report on hate crime is essential to our work to empower and protect our most vulnerable,” said Otto Solórzano, acting director of the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS). “Thanks to the board for sharing our vision of a hate-free LA County with vibrant, thriving communities free of prejudice and inequality, and for the resources to fight this tide of hatred.”

The main findings of the report include:

– The 635 hate crimes reported in the county were the highest number since 2008. The number of hate crimes has increased by 65% ​​from its all-time low in 2013.

– The 20% increase in hate crime was largely due to a 53% increase in racial crime. Crimes against African Americans, Latinos, Whites, and Asians increased dramatically. This is the largest increase in numbers and percentages since 2003.

– Racist crimes accounted for 61% of all hate crimes, up from 48% the previous year. Here, too, African Americans were severely overrepresented: Although African Americans make up only 9% of the county’s population, they made up 42% of the victims of racial crimes. Crimes against blacks increased by 35% from 125 to 169. Latino / as comprised 26% of the racist victims and crimes against Latinos / a increased by 58% from 67 to 106. Crimes against whites increased by 127% from 22 to 50 and equaled 12% of the total. Crimes against Asians rose 76% from 25 to 44 and Asians made up 11% of the racist victims.
The number of crimes targeting suspects against immigrants rose by 14% from 49 to 56, the highest number ever recorded.

– Sexual orientation crimes increased by 17% from 104 to 122 and accounted for 18% of all hate crimes. 84 percent of these crimes were against gay men.

– Religiously motivated crimes fell 18% from 105 to 86 and accounted for 13% of all hate crimes. In 88% of these cases, the Jewish community was targeted.

– After hitting a record number last year, anti-transgender crime fell 24% from 42 to 32. This remained the third largest number ever reported.

– 68 percent of hate crimes were violent, the largest proportion since 2003. Transgender victims experienced the highest rate of violence (94%), followed by homophobic (83%), racial (72%) and religious crimes (23%).

– Most of the hate crimes occurred in the Metro Service Planning Area, which stretches from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights, followed by the San Fernando Valley area. However, when comparing the population of the areas to the number of reported hate crimes, the Metro Region had the highest rate, followed by the Western Region (which includes parts of West LA, Beverly Hills, Culver City, and a number of Beaches communities) .

– After rising 38% in 2019, the number of white racist crimes remained up at 119, the highest number since 2009. They accounted for 19% of all hate crimes.

– The number of hate crimes committed by gang members was 32, unchanged from the previous year. 76 percent were racist and the majority targeted African Americans.

“In a year that will be known for the COVID-19 pandemic, this report documents that the virus of hatred and prejudice has also spread historically,” commented Robin Toma, Executive Director of the Commission. “The surprising surge in this horrific hate crime in 2020 – despite less social interaction due to closed businesses and schools and people seeking refuge on the ground – speaks to the continued bold investment in LA vs Hate that can vaccinate our communities against hate.”

“This report gives the hundreds of nameless victims of hate crimes a voice that is not covered by the media,” said Commission President Dr. Guadalupe Montaño. “For a small agency like the Human Relations Commission, the report and LA vs Hate are an ambitious endeavor, but the investment is worth it.”

In response to the surge in hatred, the board had previously directed LACCHR to launch a multi-year campaign to prevent and respond to acts of hate in the county, which led to the LA vs Hate initiative. The initiative has three components: (1) a community-sponsored marketing campaign to encourage residents and organizations to unite against acts of hate and report them; (2) the first state hotline (via 211) for reporting acts of hate and providing assistance to victims of hate; and (3) a network of community agencies that provide rapid response, support and advocacy, and hate prevention services. Since launching in June 2020, LA vs Hate content has been viewed over 468 million times and shared over 88 million times. Since September 2019, when LA vs. Hate and took 211 calls to report hate, LA vs. Hate has received more than 1,400 reports.

For more information on the LA vs Hate initiative, including shareable graphics prepared for social media, click [here].

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