Skyrocketing anti-Black, anti-Jewish incidents
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR) released its annual analysis of hate crimes reported throughout Los Angeles County in 2022. Since 1980, LACCHR has compiled, analyzed, and produced this annual report of hate crime data submitted by over 100 law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, and community-based organizations. Following two years of double-digit increases, reported hate crimes in Los Angeles County grew 18% from 790 to 929, the second largest number in more than 20 years. For the past eight years, hate crimes have been trending upward and since 2013 there has been a 143% increase.
“The release of the County’s Commission on Human Relations comes at a somber time—a time in which we are seeing what is happening afar having a direct local impact here in LA County,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “It is also a reminder that we are not immune and hate and violence continue to impact the lives of Angelenos. To that end, we have doubled our efforts to enact several anti-hate programs led by the Human Relations Commission to help those most impacted by hate – so that they can receive critical support, counseling, and resources to heal from traumatic situations and feel safe again.”
Some of the other important findings in the report include data that showed Blacks being the most frequent targets of reported hate crimes in the County, anti-Asian hate crimes reaching the second highest total ever, explicitly anti-immigrant hate crimes hitting a historic high and a growth in hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ and Jewish communities.
“We are troubled by the extremely high number of hate crimes in 2022,” stated Commission President Ilan Davidson. “But we are especially concerned about the huge increases in hate crimes targeting the African American and Jewish communities.”
“2022 witnessed deepening divides across the U.S. along lines of political party, race, sexual orientation, religion, and gender identity,” commented Robin Toma, the Commission’s Executive Director. “Against this backdrop, hate crimes across the nation, including L.A. County, reached historic highs, which reflect more bias-motivated crime, but also better reporting, thanks to our anti-hate program LA vs Hate: it’s helped over 2,700 victims of hate motivated bullying, verbal harassment, threats, and hate crimes in our county since it began, provided us a more complete map of hate crime for our county, and enabled us to carry out more effective hate prevention strategies.”
To view the complete report, including hate crime maps, graphs, and tables, visit hrc.lacounty.gov. Some hate crime data is limited by the current searchability of the database only for the time period of 2003 to 2022.
The report’s significant findings include the following:
• Seventy-two percent of hate crimes were of a violent nature, the second highest percentage in at least 20 years.
• Racial, sexual orientation and religious hate crimes all grew sharply. But racism was by far the most common motivation, constituting 57% of all hate crimes. Racist crimes jumped 14%, from 476 to 545.
• Although they only comprise about 9% of the county’s population, African-Americans were again disproportionately targeted and comprised 53% of racial hate crime victims. While anti-Black crimes climbed, all other major racial and ethnic groups experienced slight increases or declined significantly.
• Anti-Latino crimes rose 3% and they again were the second largest group of racial victims. This was the seventh year in a row that Latino/as experienced the highest rate of violence (93%) of any racial/ethnic group.
• Anti-Asian crimes, which had soared to record highs during the pandemic, declined 25%. However, the 61 crimes reported were the second largest number in this report’s history.
• Sexual orientation crimes comprised the second largest motivation (18%) and grew 20%. 81% of these crimes targeted gay men.
• Religious crimes spiked 41% and comprised 16% of all hate crimes. Eighty-three percent of these crimes were anti-Jewish.
• There were 44 anti-transgender crimes, the largest number ever documented. Ninety-one percent of these crimes were violent, a rate much higher than racial, sexual orientation, and religious attacks.
• After declining the previous year, hate crimes that contained evidence of White supremacist ideology (most often the use of swastikas in vandalism) increased 66% from 97 to 140 crimes. This was the largest number in 13 years. They comprised 15% of all reported hate crimes. There was evidence of white supremacist belief systems in 38% of all religious hate crimes and 9% of racial crimes.
In response to the rise in hate, the Board of Supervisors directed LACCHR to build a multi-year campaign to prevent and respond to acts of hate in the County, which resulted in the LA vs Hate initiative. The initiative has three components: (1) a community-driven marketing campaign to encourage residents and organizations to unite against and report acts of hate; (2) the first government hotline (via 211) for reporting acts of hate and providing assistance to hate victims; and (3) a network of community agencies that provide rapid response, support and advocacy, and hate prevention services.
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, #StopAAPIHate, #CaliforniaForAll