LA City Council Passes Motion to Make Hate Crime Reporting Easier

Photo at a rally in 2021 by Adam Chau, AsAmNews

The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion Friday that would improve the city’s hate crime reporting systems.

A report published in February 2022 by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino found that hate crimes in Los Angeles increased by 71 percent in 2021. There were 615 hate crimes in 2021 compared to 315 in 2020, The Los Angeles Daily News reports.

But there is a disparity between the number of hate crimes reported to law enforcement and the number of hate crimes reported to independent non-profit organizations, NBC Los Angeles reports. When drafting the motion to improve the city’s hate crime reporting system, the city council noted that they were particularly concerned about the disparity between hate crimes reported to Stop AAPI Hate and hate crimes reported to law enforcement.

In 2020, 24 hate incidents and hate crimes against Asian Americans were reported to law enforcement in Los Angeles. Stop AAPI Hate received reports 245 hate crimes and hate incidents in Los Angeles County from March 19, 2020, to Oct. 28, 2020, NBC Los Angeles reports.

The motion passed by the city council Friday seeks to close that gap. It instructs the City Administrative Officer to find funding to help train 311 staff in responding to hate incidents. It also asks for more funding to improve hate crime reporting systems, support victims of hate crimes, improve the efficacy of bystander interventions and support research into improving hate crime reporting.

The motion was first introduced by Councilwoman Nithya Raman.

“I feel strongly about this work: the steep rise in hate crimes in LA demands informed policy decisions and broad mitigation strategies. But it is hard to move forward without more reporting and better data that allows us to understand trends on hate crimes,” Raman said in a statement Friday, according to NBC Los Angeles. “Implementing the recommendations in this report will help us take those next steps in our city and help us craft culturally informed responses, including expanding investments in hate crime responses that go beyond law enforcement alone.”

Civil rights leaders believe the motion is a step in the right direction.

“Hate can have no home in Los Angeles. I am so grateful to leaders like Councilmember Raman for working to protect our most vulnerable and to make Los Angeles a national leader in hate prevention,” LA Civil Rights Department Executive Director Capri Maddox told NBC Los Angeles. “Today’s vote will allow us to better track and respond to hate crimes, as well as develop models for hate intervention and prevention. It is just one way we are building an LA for all.”

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