Hate groups on rise in California, U.S.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 10:24PM
Hate is on the rise across the United States and California is one of the major brewing grounds for hate groups.


LOS ANGELES - Hate is on the rise across the United States and California is one of the major brewing grounds for hate groups.

This weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia is highlighting the disturbing trend.

"We are seeing a more tech-savvy and youthful gathering of hate groups and they are now a unified socio-political force," said Brian Levin, director of the Cal State San Bernardino Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

Levin says hate groups are not only more organized, but are growing more violent. Since December 2015, there have been two dozen violent public demonstrations in California that resulted in injuries or arrests, he said.

That includes a Ku Klux Klan rally in Anaheim in February 2016 in which three people were stabbed and multiple others were arrested.

In a new report, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimates there are 917 hate groups operating nationwide.

California is at the top of the list with 79 organizations that range from white nationalists to anti-LGBT movements.

While these group's inflammatory rhetoric is protected under the First Amendment, the city of Los Angeles is taking action against some of the criminal elements associated with white supremacists operating within its borders.

"Our office is going to be unrelenting in targeting those who we allege are involved in white supremacist gang activity that is criminal activity," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

On Monday, Feuer's office filed a lawsuit against three alleged members of a white supremacist criminal street gang.

The city alleges a Canoga Park home has been a gathering place for the gang and its ongoing drug activity. The city has made multiple arrests and executed four search warrants relating to alleged drug activity at the home.
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