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Report: Hate Crimes Jump 20% In Los Angeles County Last Year

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Hate crimes in Los Angeles County jumped 20% in 2020, with reports going up to 635 from 530 in 2019 -- the highest number since 2008, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations.

The increase in hate crimes was largely due to racially-motivated crimes, which spiked 53%, the largest numeric and percentage increase since 2003, and the report found explicit evidence of white supremacist ideology in 19% of violent hate crimes reported in the county last year, compared to 22% the previous year.

Asian community leaders hold a news conference to take a unified stand opposing hate crimes against members of the Asian Pacific Islander community.
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Asian community members hold signs calling for hate to stop at news conference organized to take a unified stand opposing hate crimes against members of the Asian Pacific Islander community on Monday, March 22, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Black people were disproportionately represented -- they made up 42% of hate crime targets, even though they comprise of just 9% of the population. Meanwhile, sexual orientation crimes were also up 17%, with 84% of those crimes targeting gay men.

Crimes against Latinos spiked 58% in 2020, going from 67 in 2019 to 106, according to the report. Of the 56 instances in which anti-immigrant slurs were used -- of which there was a 14% percent increase in 2020 -- 77% of those slurs were used against a Latino person.

The report confirmed the perception that anti-Asian hate crimes had skyrocketed in 2020 – such incidents went up by 76% last year, when physical and verbal attacks ramped up due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, hate crimes in Los Angeles County are getting increasingly violent, according to the report -- the rate of violence went up from 65% to 68%, the highest rate since 2003.

But despite the alarming numbers, the report says the crimes reported in 2020 is well below the numbers reported during the late 1990s and 2000s. Another heartening detail in the report is that religious crimes have gone down 18%. But of the religious crimes that were reported, most were anti-Semitic.

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