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Los Angeles sees hate crimes rise in 2022

Via Ethnic Media Services

The Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission just released its 2022 Hate Crimes Report, showing an increase in hate crimes across the county.

Los Angeles hate crimes report
According to the Los Angeles Hate Crimes Report, 2022 saw an increase in hate crimes across the county with attacks targeting a broad spectrum of racial and ethnic, religious and sexual minorities.

Hate crimes in Los Angeles County increased in 2022, with attacks targeting a broad spectrum of racial and ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. The increase is partly attributed to an increase in reporting at the local level, but also follows broader state, national and even global trends.

The most recent data comes from the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, which just released its Hate Crime Report for 2022.

“Reported hate crimes in Los Angeles County have reached the second highest level in more than 20 years,” said CEO Robin Toma, at a press conference Wednesday announcing the release of the report. “Almost every race, ethnicity, nationality and religion has been attacked.”

In total, 929 hate crimes were reported countywide in 2022, an increase of 18% from the previous year. (California statewide reported an increase of 22%). Of the total, 72% were violent, with race being the motivating factor in 57% of the attacks.

African Americans were disproportionately represented among victims with a 53%. Attacks targeting Latinos increased 3%, although 93% of them were violent, the highest level of all racial and ethnic groups. Anti-Asian crimes fell 25%, although the 61 crimes reported still marked the highest level ever recorded.

Eighteen percent of attacks were motivated by sexual orientation, followed by those motivated by religious identification (16%). Of the latter, 83% were anti-Jewish, and the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has led to an even greater increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim attacks since fighting began in October.

As complaints increase, so does hate

Toma said the increase in complaints through the website LA vs Hate county and 211 LA, where victims can call to report hate crimes and hate-related incidents anonymously and in a multitude of languages, has led to higher overall numbers, although he acknowledged the numbers: However high be, they represent ?only a handful? of the actual total.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly half of all violent hate crimes go unreported to authorities, while an even higher proportion of hate incidents and nonviolent hate crimes go unreported. Reasons include fear of interacting with or lack of trust in law enforcement, as well as concerns that reporting could lead to further attacks.

Toma also described a broader atmosphere of growing intolerance and extremism as helping to fuel the rise of hate in Los Angeles. He listed a grim list of incidents, including racially motivated mass shootings in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, El Paso and the May 2022 mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, which claimed 10 lives.

The latter, he noted, was related to an incident involving an adult white man who attacked an African-American teenager, making repeated phone calls and text messages warning of his association with the Ku Klux Klan. The perpetrator sent multiple images of firearms, threatening a mass shooting like the one in Buffalo.

“This is an example of how hate and outside violence influence violence in the county,” Toma said.

'Hate has no borders'

The Los Angeles Human Relations Commission has been tracking data on hate crimes since 1980. A hate crime is defined as any crime motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.

"Hate has no borders," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis. “What we are seeing is a trend across the country and the world… Hate crimes continue to increase.”

It was Solis, along with Supervisor Sheila Keuhl, who in 2018 drafted a measure aimed at protecting Los Angeles' minority communities from hate crimes. That move ultimately led to the creation of the anti-hate initiative LA vs Hate. Led by the Human Relations Commission, LA vs Hate works with a coalition of community partners to track and combat hate throughout Los Angeles County.

Visitors to the site will find a variety of resources available and will also be able to report hate crimes or hate-related incidents. According to Toma, the LA v Hate site is now the third largest source of reported hate crimes after the LAPD and the Sheriff's office.

“We have a lot of challenges, but the good thing is that we are collecting data,” Solis said, data that is used to help divert critical funds to anti-hate initiatives, including training for law enforcement, as well as education, data. gathering and coalition-building efforts.

Reporting is key to combating hate

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna emphasized his department's commitment to combating the rise of hate and stressed the importance of showing up when it happens. "When there is an attack of hate, the entire community is threatened," Luna said. “When someone doesn't report it, it ends up in the hands of the perpetrators.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office is one of the only ones in the country to track non-criminal hate incidents, Luna explained, noting that doing so “gives the community a voice when hate does not rise to the level of a crime.” ” and that also helps to ?prevent acts of hate before they occur.?

Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Blake Chow echoed Luna. ?We have to inform. If people don't report, we don't know what is happening?

He also offered this reminder about the numbers contained in the report.

Is each of these numbers linked to a victim? to a family?, he said. “This is a commentary on where we are as a society.”

This publication was supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the CaliFornia State Library.

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