LOS ANGELES (Sept. 29, 2016) — The Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission released its 2015 Hate Crimes Report on Sept. 29.
After a seven-year downward trend, the report showed that hate crimes in Los Angeles County jumped 24 percent, from 390 to 484 cases in 2015. Statewide, hate crimes also increased in 2015, but by only 10 percent, the report said.
The report showed that hate crimes increased across most categories (race, sexual orientation, gender and religion). This included crimes targeting members of the Asian American community.
The number of crimes targeting Asian Americans tripled from 6 to 18, most of those targeting persons of Chinese descent. The number of reported anti-Muslim crimes rose from 3 to 19, with most occurring after terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
In response to this new report, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles releases the following statement:
As a civil rights organization, Advancing Justice-LA has a long history of advocating for the victims of racial hate crimes and their families.
We are troubled to see seven years of declining hate activity reversed last year, and in particular to see a jump in both anti-Muslim and anti-Chinese hate crimes. At the same time, we are not necessarily surprised. History has taught us that global events and political rhetoric directly impact hate activity. In 2015, we witnessed rising hostility towards China on trade and economic issues and the tragic attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, as well as presidential campaign rhetoric that both targeted China as an enemy and demonized Muslims as a community.
We are fearful that the escalation of both dynamics in 2016 will lead to a continued surge in anti-Chinese and anti-Muslim hate activity. We urge our community to be vigilant of such attacks and to report any suspected hate crimes to law enforcement.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice-LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.