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UPDATE: Hate Crimes in Los Angeles County Second Lowest in 23 Years

Posted: October 2, 2013 8:51 a.m.
Updated: October 2, 2013 6:56 p.m.

Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation were higher in the Santa Clarita Valley than in other parts of Los Angeles County, according to an annual report on hate crimes issued Wednesday by Los Angeles County.

The report by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations showed hate crimes declined 6 percent between 2011 and 2012 — from 489 in 2011 to 462 last year. The number of hate crimes in the county has been on a downward trend since 2007.

“Santa Clarita has experienced three of the major types of hate crime,” the commission’s executive director, Robin Toma, said Wednesday.

Although the commission did not compare the hate crimes from one city to the next, a regional map of Los Angeles County indicated Santa Clarita Valley experienced:

- five reported hate crimes involving race, ethnicity and national origin last year.

- four involving sexual orientation

- two involving religion

“There is a higher percentage of hate crimes involving sexual orientation in Santa Clarita,” Toma said, comparing the statistics of similar hate crimes reported in other parts of Los Angeles County.

By the same comparison, Santa Clarita Valley showed a lower percentage of hate crimes targeting race, he said.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Captain Paul Becker was expected to issue a statement about the report once he’s had a chance to review it, Deputy Josh Dubin said.

Countywide, the largest number of hate crimes, 49 percent of them, were motivated by the victims’ real or perceived race, ethnicity or national origin, according to the report.

Crimes motivated by sexual orientation amounting to 28 percent, those motivated by religion totaled 19 percent, and those motivated by gender were 3 percent. There were no disability-motivated hate crimes reported in 2012.

The distribution of motivations was nearly identical to the previous year.

As in previous years, 2012 saw 86 percent of hate crimes targeting four groups of victims: African Americans, gay men and lesbians, Jews, and Latinos.

The year showed slight increases in the numbers of crimes against Jews and gay men or lesbians. The numbers of anti-African American and anti-Latino crimes were similar to the previous year. Most other victim groups experienced minor decreases.

Similar to past years, four groups constituted 86 percent of all hate crime victims in 2012: African Americans, lesbians and gay men, Jews, and Latinos. Hate crimes targeting each of these four groups changed little from the previous year, but crimes against most other ethnic and religious groups declined.

“We are encouraged that for several years in a row the number of hate crimes in L.A. County has been about half of those reported in the late ‘90s and early 2000s,” Toma said.

“However, there are several persistent areas of concern that require heightened attention — namely, the number of anti-black crimes committed by Latino gang members and the continued high rate of violence experienced by the gay, lesbian, and transgender communities.”
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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