April 17, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

California Attorney General Releases 2022 Hate Crime Report, Calls for Action Against Rising Hate Incidents

Statistics Shows Increase in Reported Hate Crimes Against LGBTQ Rose 29 Percent

By Dolores Quintana

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has unveiled the 2022 Hate Crime in California Report, highlighting the need for continued efforts to combat hate across the state. The report reveals a 20.2% increase in reported hate crime events, rising from 1,763 in 2021 to 2,120 in 2022. Among the key findings, hate crimes targeting Black individuals saw a 27.1% surge, while anti-Asian hate crime events decreased by 43.3%. Additionally, hate crimes based on sexual orientation bias increased by 29%.

Amidst the alarming rise in reported hate crimes, Attorney General Bonta urges local partners and law enforcement to review the provided resources and renew their commitment to taking action. As part of these efforts, an updated Law Enforcement Bulletin has been issued, outlining California criminal laws that prohibit hate crimes and provide enhanced penalties for hate-related acts. 

In response to the report, Attorney General Bonta stated, “This report is a stark reminder that there is still much work to be done to combat hate in our state. I urge local partners and law enforcement to review these findings and recommit to taking action. Our office continues to work with law enforcement, elected leaders, and community organizations across the state to increase awareness and bolster responses to hate crimes. An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us. The alarming increases in crimes committed against Black, LGBTQ+, and Jewish people for the second year in a row illustrates the need for our communities to join together unified against hate. It takes all of us working together to combat extremism and foster a safe and inclusive environment for all Californians. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we stand united — there is no place for hate in California.”

Some of the key findings from the 2022 Hate Crime in California Report include: 

  • Reported hate crime events increased overall by 20.2%, from 1,763 in 2021 to 2,120 in 2022. A hate crime event is a single occurrence that may involve more than one offense. For example, a person may be threatened and assaulted at the same time; this would involve multiple hate crime offenses within the same hate crime event.  
  • 2,589 hate crime offenses were reported in California, increasing by 16.6% from 2021.
  • Hate crime events motivated by a sexual orientation bias increased by 29% from 303 in 2021 to 391 in 2022.
  • Anti-Black or African American bias events increased by 27.1% from 513 in 2021 to 652 in 2022.
  • Anti-Hispanic bias crimes rose from 197 in 2021 to 210 in 2022.
  • Anti-Asian bias events fell from 247 in 2021 to 140 in 2022, a decrease of 43.3%.
  • Anti-Jewish bias events increased by 24.3%, from 152 in 2021 to 189 in 2022.
  • Anti-Protestant bias events rose from 2 in 2021 to 12 in 2022. 
  • Anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias crimes rose from 18 in 2021 to 25 in 2022.
  • Anti-transgender bias events increased from 38 in 2021 to 59 in 2022. 
  • Anti-gay (male) bias events increased 28.4% from 211 in 2021 to 271 in 2022
  • Anti-lesbian bias crimes rose from 27 in 2021 to 33 in 2022.
  • From 2021 to 2022, the number of hate crimes referred for prosecution increased by 5.9%, from 610 in 2021 to 647 in 2022. Of the 647 hate crimes referred for prosecution, 456 cases were filed by district and elected city attorneys. Of the 122 cases with a disposition available for this report, 43.4% were hate crime convictions, and 45.9% were other convictions.

The California Department of Justice acknowledges the historical underreporting of hate crimes and recognizes that the data presented may not fully reflect the actual number of incidents. Reports of hate incidents can also be made to the California Civil Rights Department CA v. Hate hotline and online portal at any time in 15 languages or by calling (833) 866-4283 or 833-8-NO-HATE, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and talking to a trained civil rights agent in over 200 languages. Outside of those hours, people can leave a voicemail or call 211 to report a hate incident and seek support from a professional trained in culturally competent communication and trauma-informed practices.

If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of a hate crime, notify local law enforcement and consider taking the following steps: 

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911 and, if needed, seek medical attention.
  • Write down the exact words that were used and take note of any other relevant facts.
  • If safe to do so, save all evidence and take photos.
  • Get the contact information for other victims and witnesses.
  • Reach out to community organizations dealing with hate crimes or incidents in your area.

Attorney General Bonta’s commitment to combating hate crimes is demonstrated through the establishment of the Racial Justice Bureau and the Office of Community Awareness, Response, and Engagement. The Attorney General has been actively engaging with local city leaders and recently appointed a hate crimes coordinator to assist law enforcement efforts. Members of the public are encouraged to explore the most recent hate crime data on OpenJustice.

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