Civil rights, human rights leaders at downtown LA rally decry recent spike in hate crimes across US

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Amid a disturbing recent spike in hate crimes across the U.S., community leaders on Wednesday gathered outside the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration to hold an L.A. vs. Hate rally.

"It's very easy to scapegoat people when people are ignorant and not clear with education and information, and really understanding what a multi-cultural complexity society that we are, and who we are and to respect one another," L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said.

Activists have been tracking random crimes that have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group Stop AAPI Hate says there have been 3,800 incidents reported in the last year and they feel there are many more that go unreported.

"So many have chosen not to share their story whether to the language barrier cultural stigma embarrassment or disillusionment that nothing will be done for them," said Connie Chung-Joe of the group Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles.

Wednesday's participants were from diverse racial, religious, and cultural communities. But they say they are one and they need to speak out against every act of hate.

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Cherokee County sheriff's Capt. Jay Baker came under criticism for saying that the 21-year-old man accused of carrying out the Atlanta spa massacres had had a "bad day."

"All of us together will advance democracy in a multi-racial pluralistic credo -- our greatest credo," L.A. civil rights attorney Connie Rice said. Gesturing to the multi-racial group assembled behind her, she said: "This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of the United States."

Hate crimes can be anonymously reported by calling the 211 hotline.
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