The campaign against hate crimes within the Asian community appears to be yielding positive results.
Although hate crimes continue to rise in California, there has been a decrease in the number of hate crimes against Asians, as indicated by the 2022 Hate Crime Report released by the California State Attorney’s Office on June 27.
According to the statistics, reported hate crimes in California increased by 20.2 percent, rising from 1,763 in 2021 to 2,120 in 2022.
Hate crimes involving all races saw an 11.4% year-over-year increase, totaling 1,298. However, hate crimes against Asians decreased significantly by nearly half within a year, dropping by 43.3% from 247 cases in 2021 to 140 incidents in 2022. This decline marked the only category showing a decrease in the report.
In contrast, hate crimes against Blacks increased by 27.1 percent, from 513 incidents in 2021 to 652 cases in 2022. Hate crimes against Hispanics rose from 197 to 210, and against Whites from 83 to 103, representing increases of 6.6 percent and 24.1 percent, respectively.
Attorney General Rob Bonta commented, “The end of the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to a reduction in hate crimes against Asians, but more significantly, the Asian community’s united response and advocacy have played a pivotal role in curbing hate crimes against Asians.”
Bonta also emphasized that despite the decline, there are still more hate crimes against Asians than there were a decade ago (30 cases). He urged victims of hate crimes to proactively report such cases to law enforcement for justice to be served.
The report also revealed a 39% increase in hate crimes targeting specific religions, rising from 218 cases to 303 cases in the previous year. Anti-Jewish hate crimes accounted for the largest number of reported cases, reaching 189.
Hate crimes related to sexual orientation bias rose by 29% compared to the previous year, totaling 391 cases. The majority of these cases were targeted against the LGBTQ+ community, with anti-gay and anti-homosexual crimes accounting for 90% of the total, or 352 reports.
Furthermore, the report highlighted that only a small percentage of hate crime cases received by law enforcement were prosecuted as hate crimes. Out of the 647 cases referred to county prosecutors’ offices as hate crimes, only 282 cases (43.6 percent) were actually prosecuted as such.
Among the counties, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted 86 out of 97 cases as hate crimes, followed by San Diego with 21 out of 46, Riverside with 17 out of 22, Orange County with 16 out of 37, and Santa Clara with 16 out of 19.
In contrast, of the 110 hate crime cases filed with the L.A. City Attorney’s Office, only four were charged as hate crimes, while 50 were treated as simple crimes.
BY NICOLE CHANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]