Racism and anti-LGBTQ bias motivated most of last year’s hate crimes in LA, according to new statistics coming out the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The report, released at a Board of Police Commissioners meeting Tuesday, show an 11 percent spike in hate crimes over 2016. Last year saw 254 hate crimes, compared to 229 over the previous year.
LGBTQ people represented a substantial number of those impacted. Crimes against transgender Angelenos nearly tripled from eight in 2016 to 23 in 2017. Seventy crimes were motivated by sexual orientation, according to the statistics.
Crimes motivated by race/ethnicity far outpaced any others with 115 reported. Of those, 55 hate crimes were directed against African Americans and 32 were against what the report refers to as the Hispanic community. The report notes that 10 were against Caucasian people, while anti-Semitic crimes totaled 37. Six were anti-Muslim crimes.
The report notes that the majority of the crimes were acts of vandalism.
LAPD has done outreach to local houses of worship to help them prevent such incidents, the document states.
The numbers come as no surprise. Nationally, 2017 was reported to be the deadliest year for LGBTQ people ever recorded by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), which tracks hate violence against LGBTQ people.
NCAVP reported 52 hate-related homicides against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people in 2017 nationally, a stunning 86 percent rise over 2061. Those numbers cast a wider net than police reports, taking into account media reports, social media, and information gathered from the LGBTQ community.
Emily Waters, senior manager of national research and policy at NCAVP, attributes the uptick in violence to discriminatory actions taken by the Trump administration against LGBTQ people.
“While we continue to witness LGBTQ people experience more and more violence, the administration is actively working to decrease protections for LGBTQ people,” Waters says. “We cannot normalize the anti-LGBTQ actions by this administration, and we cannot normalize the violence that LGBTQ people experience every day.”
Los Angeles has already seen the homicide of one transgender woman this year. Viccky Gutierrez, a member of the [email protected] Coalition in LA, was murdered in January. She is among six trans people reported killed this year.
Mariana Marroquin, program manager of the Anti-Violence Project of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, called on the community to address discrimination and harassment alongside hate crimes.
“Community organizations and law enforcement agencies must work closely to make sure LGBTQ individual are empowered to seek help,” Marroquin says in statement to INTO. “In the time when our nation is divided, we must embrace diversity by supporting and respecting each other.”
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