Hate crimes in Los Angeles County increased by 24 percent in 2015, report says

ByABC7.com staff via KABC logo
Friday, September 30, 2016
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LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hate crimes across Los Angeles County have increased by 24 percent in 2015, according to an annual report released by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations.

According to the report, hate crimes rose from 390 to 483, with the largest number of those crimes happening in the San Fernando Valley. The increase in crimes is the largest number reported since 2011, the report states.

During the same year, the California Attorney General's Office reported an increase in hate crimes of only 10 percent for the state.

For the reported hate crimes in Los Angeles County, there was an escalation of the crimes motivated by race, sexual orientation, religion and gender.

The largest number of racially-motivated hate crimes targeted African Americans, who only represent about 8.3 percent of the population in the county but were 58 percent of the victims in the crimes. The report said a significant factor in the crimes is attacks by street gangs, most with ties to the prison-based Mexican Mafia.

The analysis also showed that 25 percent of hate crimes were focused on sexual orientation. The violence of those crimes comprised 84 percent of all violent crimes, which makes it the largest percentage against the LGBT community since 2009.

Transgender women experienced the highest rate of violent hate crimes with 18 cases, the report said, making them the largest targeted group for those specific crimes.

According to the report, the overall rate of violence only rose by 1 percent from 62 to 63.

The report also noted that crimes against Muslims and Middle Easterners spiked from three instances to 19 around November and December after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, respectively.

Despite the large increase in overall hate crimes, the analysis indicated that the numbers are still well below those reported over 20 years, from 1990 through 2009.

To view the complete report, which includes crime maps, graphs and tables, you may visit www.css.lacounty.gov or www.lahumanrelations.org.