SAN FRANCISCO -- A new report released Tuesday by the California attorney general shows that hate crimes in the state are on the rise, surging 20.2% since the previous report.
The updated numbers tell a sad story.
In 2021, there were 1,763 hate crimes reported in California. In 2022, there were 2,120.
"Hate, unfortunately, it has no borders," said California Attorney General, Rob Bonta, "Even California is not immune."
The report defines a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property.
It says the crimes are motivated in part or in whole by an offender's bias against race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
Other motivations include ethnicity, gender or gender identity.
"Crimes motivated by sexual orientation increased 29% in particular," Bonta said, "Anti-transgender events increased from 38 and 2021 to 59 in 2022. A huge jump."
The report also found that there were 652 anti-black crimes, a rise of more than 27%.
Anti-Hispanic crimes rose from 197 in 2021 to 210 in 2022.
Religious-based hate crimes are up with anti-Semitic hate crimes increasing by more than 24%.
"California's Jewish community did not have to wait until the report was released. We experienced that increase in hatred directed at us in this past year with our own eyes, and our own ears," said Senior Rabbi Ken Chasen of Leo Baeck Temple.
The report found that anti-Asian hate crimes fell from 247 in 2021 but there were still 140 reports in 2022 and the state is still at an all-time high in that category post-pandemic.
Advocates believe the drop is linked to victims not reporting hate crime events.
"We know that hate crimes in general are significantly underreported, and Asian and other immigrants are particularly reluctant to seek law enforcement or public attention when they have been victimized," Paul Estuar, litigation director with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California.
Bonta says he's also confident that hate crimes are being underreported and is urging local and community partners to take action.
This bulletin was issued to all district attorneys and other law enforcement agencies, summarizing the laws that prohibit hate crimes.
Bonta continues to encourage victims and potential victims of hate crime to report them to law enforcement or a trusted source.
"Reach out to community organizations in your area that deal with hate crimes, they can provide support and guidance and direction as well," he said, "What we don't know about, we can't respond to."
To read the full 2022 Hate Crime in California report, click here.
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