Download the full report [here].
[LACo HRC] – The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations has released its annual examination of hate crimes reported throughout Los Angeles County. The findings for 2011 show that after falling dramatically three years in a row, the number of hate crimes rose from 427 to 489, a 15-percent increase over the previous year.
All major categories of hate crimes increased: both race/ethnicity/national origin crimes and sexual orientation crimes rose 13 percent, and religion-motivated crimes grew by 24 percent. Hate crimes reflecting white supremacist ideology rose from being 18 to 21 percent of all hate crimes.
However, the annual total is still the second lowest recorded during the past 22 years.
“The 15 percent increase in hate crime is cause for concern, since it exceeds the increase in crime in general,” LACCHR Executive Director Robin Toma commented. “But we are encouraged that across the board hate crimes based on race, sexual orientation, and religion are still among the lowest reported in the past two decades.” He added that the decreases in gang involved hate crimes in the four areas targeted by the county’s Gang Violence Reduction Initiative come at the end of multi-year efforts by law enforcement crack-downs on gangs with histories of racial violence, and by LACCHR and Los Angeles County agencies and partners to increase reentry, violence intervention, and community engagement.
“While we are heartened by the relatively low numbers, we are alarmed that 21 percent of hate crimes show evidence of white supremacist ideology and 12 percent of hate crimes were committed by gang members,” Commission President Kathay Feng remarked. “This means that potentially a full third of hate crimes are committed by mission offenders who believe that they are part of a larger cause to terrorize entire communities.”
About half of all hate crimes were racially-motivated. Once again, African Americans were targeted most frequently (60 percent), and a greater percentage of hate crimes were committed by gang members.
A quarter of all hate crimes was motivated by the sexual orientation of the victims. As in the past, the overwhelming majority (84 percent) targeted gay men. Homophobic crimes were more likely to be of a violent nature (71 percent) than either racial (54 percent) or religious crimes (20 percent).
Religion-motivated crimes constituted 18 percent of all hate crimes. Consistent with previous years, the overwhelming number, 77 percent, were anti-Jewish.
Although there were no hate-motivated murders in 2011, there was a case in which gang members attempted to murder three African American victims.
Hate crimes occurred throughout the variety of regions of Los Angeles County, but the largest numbers were concentrated in the San Fernando Valley followed by the Metro region (stretching from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights). When accounting for population, the Metro region had highest rate of hate crimes followed by the Antelope Valley.
To view the complete report including hate crime maps, graphs and tables, click [here].
About the Human Relations Commission
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations is one of the oldest and largest agencies of its kind in the United States. The Commission works to foster harmonious and equitable intergroup relations, empower communities and institutions, engage in non-violent conflict resolution and promote an informed and inclusive multicultural society.