Report Claims that Hate Crimes Increased in California for the Third Straight Year
According to a report released in July by the California attorney general’s office, there was a 17.4 percent increase (1,093) in reported hate crimes in California in 2017. Since 2014, hate crimes have increased annually and have jumped roughly 44 percent these past three years. According to the report, over half of the hate crimes reported in California last year involved racial bias, with about 27 percent involving hostility toward black people. Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State San Bernardino, stated,
I think people, particularly with bigots, they are now more emboldened and we are seeing this across a spectrum of data points. If you look at bigoted social media posts, if you look at the number of white nationalist rallies across the nation and in California.
Unfortunately, hate crimes targeting victims based on race, sexual orientation, and religion all increased sharply. The report did not indicate a large increase in any particular part of the state. The report relies on reporting from local police departments, so it may not even contain the entire increase in hate crimes. The increase in hate crimes in the state comes at a time when hate crimes are also on the rise nationally. Hopefully something is done to decrease the number of hate crimes in the state.