Attorney General Xavier Becerra has released the 2016 edition of the California Department of Justice (DOJ) Hate Crime in California report.
The report’s findings:
- Over the last 10 years, the total number of hate crime events has decreased 34.7 percent from 1,426 in 2007 to 931 in 2016.
- Hate crime events increased 11.2 percent from 837 in 2015 to 931 in 2016.
- Hate crime events involving a racial basis increased 21.3 percent, from 428 in 2015 to 519 in 2016.
- Hate crime events with a race/ethnicity/national origin bias are consistently the most common type of hate crime over the past 10 years (2007-2016). Hate crimes with a sexual orientation bias are the second most common type of hate crime over the same period.
- Hate crimes with an anti-Black or African American bias motivation continue to be the most common hate crime, accounting for 31.3 percent (3,262) of all hate crime events since 2007.
- Hate crimes with a sexual orientation bias are the second most common type of hate crime over the last 10 years, accounting for 22.2 percent of hate crimes report in 2016.
- Hate crimes with an anti-gay (male) bias increased 40.7 percent from 108 in 2015 to 152 is 2016.
- Hate crimes with an anti-Jewish motivation continue to be the most common within the religion bias category, accounting for 11.1 percent (1,158) of all hate events reported since 2007.
The increase in hate crimes in California comes at a time when the nation is confronting an unsettling increase in hate crimes. The latest reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation demonstrate an increase in the number of hate crimes nationwide, including crimes motivated by biases towards racial and ethnic minorities, Muslims, persons with disabilities, women, immigrants, and the LGBT community. Last week, it was reported that from 2011-2015, more than half of violent hate crime victimizations were not reported to police.
“When someone commits a crime motivated by hate, it is not just an attack on one innocent person, but an attack on the entire State and our communities,” said Becerra.
“We can see from (this) report that words matter, and discriminatory rhetoric does not make us stronger but divides us and puts the safety of our communities at risk. This is why condemning hate crimes, discrimination, and racism is critical to ensuring all Californians live without fear of being targeted because of their race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation,” he said.
A copy of the report can be found online at https://openjustice.doj.ca.