Only 15 of California’s 750 law enforcement agencies submitted hate crimes data to the FBI in 2021.
Only 73 hate crime incidents were reported to the FBI in California significantly below the 1,339 reported to the FBI in 2020.
The Los Angeles Police Department did not report any hate crimes to the FBI in 2021, according to the data set. But in 2020 the LAPD reported more than 360 hate crimes.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office reported 26 hate crimes in 2020 and none to the FBI in 2021. The Long Beach Police Department reported 18 hate crimes in 2020 and none to the FBI in 2021. The Santa Ana Police Department reported 16 hate crimes in 2020 and none to the FBI in 2021.
These statistics alone are shocking and a sign that law enforcement and state officials must do more to document the rise in hate crimes against all communities.
Part of the explanation for the lack of data is that the FBI changed how law enforcement agencies report the data. The FBI switched to a new software at a reported cost of $120 million. But many law enforcement agencies did not make the switch to the reporting system on time and the FBI did not accept the data the way it was previously reported.
So this led to a severe and unacceptable federal undercount in federal hate crimes data. The reality is that in many states and counties hate crimes are on the rise as documented by other government agencies.
The California State Attorney General reported an increase in hate crimes increasing 41.9% from 1,536 to 2,180 from 2020 to 2021.
Los Angeles County reported last month that hate crimes rose in Los Angeles County to the highest level in 20 years.
Hate crimes rose 23% from 641 in 2020 to 786 incidents in 2021, the largest number reported since 2002. And 74% of those hateful acts were of a violent nature.
The percentage of hate crimes targeting people of Mexican heritage grew 38% from 2020 to 2021. Of anti-Latino/as hate crimes, 64% were committed by African Americans, followed by whites (23%), and other Latino/as (12%). In Latino/a-on-Latino/a hate crimes, many of the attackers made anti-immigrant slurs, sometimes in Spanish. Hate crimes in which anti-immigrant slurs were used increased 48% from 56 to 83, the largest number ever recorded.
Black are 9% of the county population but comprise 46% of racial hate crime victims. In 2021, 51% of anti-Black hate crimes were committed by white suspects and 45% were committed by Latino/as. There also were 77 anti-Asian crimes, the largest number in around 20 years. In nearly a quarter of these attacks, the victims also were blamed for the pandemic.
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations has published this annual hate crime report since 1980, one of the longest efforts tracking hate crimes in the U.S.
While Los Angeles County is a model for data collection on hate crimes, there is no excuse for law enforcement across the state and the nation to fail to report the data to the FBI. There must be funding and training so that the data can be collected comprehensively and in a timely fashion. There has to be accountability.
At CALÓ NEWS we are working on news stories and editorials to address the unacceptable rise in hate crimes in our region. Our reporters are interviewing anti-hate experts and statewide leaders who can highlight what needs to be done in order for our community to be a safe space for everyone.
We also want to hear from people, especially in the Latino community, who have been victims of hate. If you want to share your experience with us please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can work to stop the rise in hate.