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| Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019
Aerial view of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. | Photo: Marshall Astor/Wikimedia Commons. hate crimes
Aerial view of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. | Photo: Marshall Astor/Wikimedia Commons.

 

The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations on Wednesday released its annual account of hate crimes reported throughout the county in 2018, and the numbers show hate crimes were at their highest rate in nearly a decade.

The report’s significant findings include the following:

* There were 521 hate crimes reported in the county in 2018, a 2.6% increase from the previous year. This is the largest number reported since 2009. For the past five years, hate crimes have been trending upward. Since reported hate crimes hit a 23- year low in 2013 there has been a 36% rise.

* Fifty-two percent of all hate crimes were racially-motivated and they increased 11% from 256 to 283. African Americans only comprise 9% of L.A. County residents but make up nearly half of racial hate crime victims (See page 25). Anti-black crimes rose 9% from 129 to 140. African Americans were also over-represented as victims of sexual orientation and anti-transgender crimes. Anti-Latino/a crimes rose for the fourth year in a row, from 72 to 85, a 16% increase (See page 25). After Middle Eastern victims, Latino/as were the most likely of any racial/ethnic group to be victims of violent racially-motivated crime (68%).

* Crimes targeting gay men, lesbians and LGBT organizations increased 20% from 108 to 130 and comprised 24% of all reported hate crimes. 72% of these crimes were of a violent nature (See page 31), a rate higher than those motivated by race (64%) or religion (28%).

* There were 97 religious crimes, a decrease of 4%. They comprised 18% of all hate crimes. Eighty-three percent were anti-Jewish (See page 35).

* After two years of record highs, anti-transgender crimes declined 24% from 37 to 25, and 92% were of a violent nature, the highest rate of any victim group (See page 38).

* The overall rate of violence increased from 56% to 61% (See page 15). They included two murders and several attempted murders, the majority of which were part of an anti-black shooting spree allegedly committed by a gang member.

* Hate crimes committed by gang members increased 31% from 36 to 47 (See page 18). Gang members were responsible for 9% of all hate crimes and 14% of racially-motivated crimes. 64% of these crimes were of a violent nature.

* The largest number of hate crimes took place in the Metro Service Planning Area, which stretches from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights, followed by the San Fernando Valley region (See page 16). However, if one compares the populations of the areas to the numbers of reported hate crimes, the Metro region had the highest rate followed by Western region (which includes West L.A., Beverly Hills, Culver City and a number of affluent beach communities).

la county hate crimes graph 2009-2018

“The troubling rise of these acts of hate must be met with unwavering condemnation. We must come together in solidarity to combat racism and bigotry head-on. As part of this ongoing effort, we must also initiate honest conversations, and build bridges of understanding with one another and tear down walls of fear and division,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.

“Every LA County resident has a right to live free of prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and violence,” Solis said. “To that end, I will introduce a motion at our Oct. 1 Board meeting that will launch LA County’s first anti-hate initiative, which will facilitate the way in which residents report hate crimes and will expedite the County’s response so we could swiftly support victims and ensure that justice is served against those who seek to divide us.”

“The steady increase in hate crimes in our County is alarming. As this report shows, hate not only impacts our most vulnerable residents but has a devastating impact on all families and communities,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “We must fight intolerance with unity. It is our duty to ensure that seeds of hate are not planted in our society by redoubling our efforts to ensure that no hate acts go unreported.”

“We are disturbed that reported hate crimes in L.A. County have been rising for five years in a row,” said Robin Toma, LACCHR Executive Director. “Major cities across the nation are experiencing similar increases.”

“We are truly alarmed at the continued over-representation of African Americans in racial, sexual orientation and anti-transgender hate crimes. The continued growth of anti-Latino crimes and frequent use of anti-immigrant language is of grave concern given the recent mass-shooting in El Paso,” said Commission President Jarrett Barrios.

To view the complete report, including hate crime maps, graphs and tables, visit here.

About Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services
Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services (WDACS) is committed to connecting communities and improving the lives of all generations in Los Angeles County. We provide employment services for adults and youth and work with employers in times of hiring and downsizing. We offer mediation services to avoid court filings. We also investigate abuse claims against older adults and the disabled population. We provide nutrition and other life-enhancing services to older adults. Our Commission on Human Relations is one of the oldest and largest agencies of its kind in the United States. The Commission’s mission is to transform prejudice into acceptance, inequity into justice, and hostility into peace.

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SCV NewsBreak
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