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Hate crimes in Los Angeles area see highest spike in more than a decade

Hate crimes in Los Angeles area see highest spike in more than a decade
Data shows 20% increase from 2019 to 2020

Hate crimes in Los Angeles have seen the highest spike in more than a decade with a 20 per cent increase in reports last year.

The LA County Commission on Human Relations says that 635 hate crimes were reported in the city in 2020, up from 530 in 2019 – the largest number since 2008.

The report says that Black people who make up nine percent of county residents, were disproportionately targeted and accounted for 42 per cent of incidents, with anti-Black hate crimes up 35 per cent overall in 2020.

The report states that there were 44 hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2020, a 76 per cent increase over 2019 and the highest number since 2001.

The commission’s president, Guadalupe Montaño, blamed Donald Trump’s rhetoric for the increase in anti-Asian violence.

“It did not help that the former president repeatedly referred to Covid-19 as ‘Chinavirus’ and ‘kung-flu,’” she told The Los Angeles Times.

The report says that incidents reported against the Latinx community increased by 58 per cent.

It also states that crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation increased by 17 percent, with 83 per cent of those being violent in nature.

At the same time, anti-transgender crimes decreased from 42 per cent to 32 percent, which is still the third-largest number ever reported.

But the data shows that while religious hate crimes declined by 18 percent, 88 per cent of those incidents targeted Jewish people.

The report does note that although the 2020 statistics are concerning, the numbers are still well below those reported in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“The pandemic intensified so many problems that already existed in our society including hate and prejudice,” said county Supervisor Janice Hahn.

“It is a tragedy that in 2020, so many of the same communities that were impacted most by COVID-19 were also victims of this disturbing increase in hate and violence.”

Meanwhile, the FBI’s statistics show that overall the number of hate crimes reported to the law enforcement agency increased by 13 per cent from 2019 to 2020.

The Justice Department states that more than half of all hate-motivated incidents are not reported to law enforcement.