On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACHR) published a report showing a 20 percent increase in hate crimes last year in Los Angeles County, mostly due to a 53 percent jump in racial hate crime.
In 2020, reported hate crimes in the county, home to over 10 million residents, grew from 530 to 635, the largest number since 2008. The report also noted that hate crimes have been trending upwards and since 2013 there has been a 65 percent rise.
African Americans were again the largest group of victims and anti-black hate crimes rose 35 percent from 125 to 169. African Americans only comprise 9 percent of Los Angeles County residents but make up 42 percent of racial hate crime victims, the LACHR said, adding that African Americans were also over-represented as victims of sexual orientation and anti-transgender crimes.
After spiking 67 percent in 2016, white supremacist crimes declined in 2017 and 2018 but increased again in 2019 and remained elevated in 2020. Of those 119 crimes, 16 percent were of a violent nature while 71 percent were acts of vandalism. Anti-Latino crimes spiked 58 percent, from 67 to 106. Latinos were the most likely of any racial group to be victims of violent racially motivated crime, for 77 percent of the hate crimes in which anti-immigrant slurs were reported targeted Latinos.
Crimes targeting Asian Pacific Americans increased 76 percent from 25 to 44, the largest number since 2001. Asian Americans constitute 15 percent of Los Angeles County residents. In 10 of the crimes, the suspects blamed the victims for COVID-19. In 15 of these crimes, specifically anti-Chinese slurs were used. Four crimes were anti-Japanese and three were anti-Asian Indian.
As in the previous years, the largest number of hate crimes (43 percent) occurred in public places, followed by residences (23 percent), businesses (22 percent), schools (4 percent), government buildings (3 percent), and electronic communication and religious sites (2 percent each). The largest number of hate crimes reported last year took place in the Los Angeles metro area.
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations has compiled and produced an annual report of hate crime data submitted by police agencies, educational institutions, and community-based organizations since 1980.