Hate crimes in Los Angeles County grew by 18% in 2022 over the prior year, according to a new report from the county’s Commission on Human Relations.
The panel looked at data from more than 100 law enforcement agencies, community organizations and educational institutions, and identified 929 hate crimes in 2022, up from 790 in 2021 and the second-highest total in 20 years.
Although African Americans only comprise about 9% of L.A. County’s population, Blacks were disproportionately targeted and comprised 53% of racial hate crime victims in 2022, according to the report.
“Racial, sexual orientation and religious hate crimes all grew sharply,” commissioners said in a news release on Wednesday. “But racism was by far the most common motivation, constituting 57% of all hate crimes. Racist crimes jumped 14%, from 476 to 545.”
Blacks were the most frequent victims but hate crimes targeting members of L.A. County’s Asian community reached the second-highest total ever last year, according to the report.
The study also found religious crimes spiked 41%. Jews were targeted in 83% of the incidents.
“We are troubled by the extremely high number of hate crimes in 2022,” said Commission President Ilan Davidson. “But we are especially concerned about the huge increases in hate crimes targeting the African American and Jewish communities.”
There were 44 anti-transgender crimes, the largest number ever documented.
After declining in 2021, hate crimes that included white supremacist elements -most often swastikas- surged by 66% in 2022, the commission found.
“The release of the County’s Commission on Human Relations comes at a somber time – a time in which we are seeing what is happening afar having a direct local impact here in LA County,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “It is also a reminder that we are not immune and hate and violence continue to impact the lives of Angelenos.”
In an effort to combat the trend, the county’s Board of Supervisors has directed the LACCHR to develop a multi-year campaign that involves community marketing campaigns, a government hotline for reporting (211), and a network of community agencies to provide support and outreach.