LOS ANGELES — Hate crimes against our kababayans have become all too common throughout communities, in Los Angeles, officials have now put together their annual report of hate crimes.
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors unveiled the annual hate crime report.
The study finds that there were over 500 reported hate crimes in 2017– up five percent from 2016, but still below the statewide 11 percent increase.
The common crimes included violent acts and vandalism targeted at specific groups.
“We see that hate crimes have been rising steadily since 2013 and during this period hate crimes have rose 32%, which is cause for great concern,” said Robin Toma
Executive Director, LA County Commission on Human Relations. “The overall reason why victims were targeted didn’t change much as past years, half of all hate crimes were motivated by race and racial hate crimes have fallen by 9 percent after falling the previous year.
The study has found that the most common hate crime targets have been members of the LGBT and African American communities.
There were 18 incidents involving Asian victims in 2017 — 2 more than the year before.
Officials say while the numbers are increasing, the incidents are still under-reported.
“Some fear retaliation in their community some because of linguistic or cultural barriers or their immigration status,” said Jarrett Barrios. “Some are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable around the criminal justice system and some just fear unwanted publicity. Whatever the reason One of our goals of today’s press conference is to remind the public of the importance of standing tall. Reporting these crimes and helping us tell the full story.”
Law enforcement officials are hoping to encourage more victims to come forward, and have worked with businesses to provide safe spaces for potential victims.
“If you are a victim of a hate crime regardless of what group you belong to, we will protect you and we are trying to drive that message home as much as we can so our community members do feel safe in reporting any hate crime. If a person feels it is a minor offense it is not.”
While the internet catches many incidents day to day and the web has also become a source of threats, not all online confrontations, rants and incidents are considered crimes.
However, they can give insight to law enforcement officials.
The 500+ hate crimes have resulted in over a hundred criminal cases filed by city and county prosecutors, with more incidents ending with plea deals.