African-Americans remain at high risk
Hate crimes have risen since the pandemic for various reasons for different minority communities. In Los Angeles, hate crimes increased by 15% in 2022, according to a report shared by the Los Angeles Police Department on July 25.
The department analysis revealed 701 hate crimes and incidents in 2022, compared with 610 in 2021. There were 180 anti-Black hate crimes, an increase of 36% from last year's numbers of 64 reported hate crimes. Gay men were the largest community affected by hate crimes in the sexual orientation category, with 93 indicents. Crimes against gay men included aggravated and simple assault, vandalism, and criminal threats. While they lead the category, their numbers decreased by 9% from 2021 to 2022.
Lastly, in the gender bias category of the report, the transgender community was primarily the victim of these crimes in 2022. Similar to hate crimes committed against gay men, suspects often confront their victims in verbal or physical altercations. There were 29 anti-transgender hate crimes in 2022, an increase of 53% from 2021.
“This report is a stark reminder that there is still much work to be done to combat hate in our state,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us. The alarming increases in crimes committed against Black, LGBTQ+, and Jewish people for the second year in a row illustrates the need for our communities to join together unified against hate.”
Hate crimes are treated the same as other crimes, which victims file a report or call 911 and wait for officers to assist them. “ There's not a mechanism by which hate crimes and hate crimes and hate incidents can be reported online,” said Captain Scot Williams, commanding officer of the LAPD robbery-homicide division. “They require the responsible officer to take those reports, and the department is actively trying to develop a system by which at least hate crimes can be reported online.”
Commissioner Maria Lou Calanche was asked how the department planned to address hate crimes.
“That is exactly what this current initiative is attempting to do while at the same time not giving a false impression that the department is doing something that it's not,” Calanche said. “There's a critical balance.”
The department is working to obtain a dedicated landline to initiate an officer response to hate crimes, as well as a database to consolidate hate crime data.
This article is a part of a series of articles for Our Weekly's #StopTheHate campaign and is supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. #NoPlaceForHateCA,