While hate crime has decreased in California in the past 10 years, the number of hate crimes, victims and suspects increased last year, according to the 2016 edition of the California Department of Justice “Hate Crime in California” report.
Released today by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the “Hate Crime in California” report provides statistics on hate crimes that occurred statewide during 2016, including the number of hate crime events and both the number of victims and suspects of those crimes.
The DOJ, all law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and elected city attorney’s offices in California developed local data collection programs and submitted hate crime statistics for this edition of Hate Crime in California. The DOJ also provides trend information on the number and types of hate crimes over the past 10 years.
“When someone commits a crime motivated by hate, it is not just an attack on one innocent person, but an attack on the entire State and our communities,” Becerra said.
“We can see from today’s report that words matter and discriminatory rhetoric does not make us stronger but divides us and puts the safety of our communities at risk,” he said. “This is why condemning hate crimes, discrimination and racism is critical to ensuring all Californians live without fear of being targeted because of their race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.
“As California’s Attorney General, I am committed to working with local law enforcement agencies, schools, and local communities to enforce California’s anti-hate crime statutes to the fullest extent of the law,” Becerra said. “I strongly encourage anyone who believes they are a victim of a hate crime to report it to local law enforcement immediately.”
The increase in hate crimes in California comes at a time when the nation is confronting an unsettling increase in hate crimes.
The latest reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation demonstrate an increase in the number of hate crimes nationwide, including crimes motivated by biases towards racial and ethnic minorities, Muslims, persons with disabilities, women, immigrants, and the LGBT community.
Last week it was reported that from 2011-2015, more than half of violent hate crime victimizations were not reported to police.
Hate Crime in California 2016 reports statistics on hate crimes that occurred in California during 2016, including the following key findings:
- Over the last ten years, the total number of hate crime events has decreased 34.7% from 1,426 in 2007 to 931 in 2016.
- Hate crime events increased 11.2% from 837 in 2015 to 931 in 2016.
- Hate crime events involving a racial basis increased 21.3% from 428 in 2015 to 519 in 2016.
- Hate crime events with a race/ethnicity/national origin bias are consistently the most common type of hate crime over the past ten years (2007-2016). Hate crimes with a sexual orientation bias are the second most common type of hate crime over the same period.
- Hate crimes with an anti-black or African American bias motivation continue to be the most common hate crime, accounting for 31.3% (3,262) of all hate crime events since 2007.
- Hate crimes with a sexual orientation bias are the second most common type of hate crime over the last ten years, accounting for 22.2 percent of hate crimes report in 2016.
- Hate crimes with an anti-gay (male) bias increased 40.7% from 108 in 2015 to 152 is 2016.
- Hate crimes with an anti-Jewish motivation continue to be the most common within the religion bias category, accounting for 11.1% (1,158) of all hate events reported since 2007.
Becerra encourages researchers, academics, and interested parties to further analyze the data. The information from the Hate Crime in California report can be accessed via the Attorney General’s OpenJustice website.
Since its launch in September 2015, OpenJustice, a first-of-its-kind criminal justice open data initiative that releases unprecedented data, established California as a leader among US states in criminal justice transparency.
Additionally, the OpenJustice Data Act of 2016 (Assembly Bill 2524), effective January 1, 2017, codified the OpenJustice web portal as the means for displaying all data contained in annual crime reports, thereby making OpenJustice a key government resource for Californians.
By driving research, reporting, and conversation, OpenJustice can help Californians better understand how the criminal justice system shapes various aspects of their lives, from safety, housing, education, health, and family, to economic opportunity.
A copy of the report can be found online [here].