Los Angeles is About to Break its Annual Hate Crimes Record

A 17 percent increase in hate crimes has set the city on track to surpass the previous record, set last year

Los Angeles recorded 596 hate crimes in 2021, making it by some counts the highest annual number ever recorded in the city. Now, with just over four months left to go 2022, the L.A. is on track to blow right past that record, according to Crosstown.

Between January 1 and June 30, the Los Angeles Police Department received 349 reports of hate crimes—a 16.7 percent increase over the first half of 2021, and more than double the same period in 2020. Nearly every community was impacted, with more than three dozen reports each of anti-Black, anti-Jewish, anti-Latino, and anti-LGBTQ crimes.

(Graphic courtesy of Crosstown)

At its peak, reported hate crimes reached 78 in May alone, with another 71 reported in June. These monthly totals mark the highest ever recorded in Los Angeles, and are alarmingly higher than pre-pandemic levels, with a monthly average of 20 to 40 hate crimes reported from 2018 to 2020.

“Generally, if you take the last ten years of FBI data and you rank by quarter, the second half of the year is the one that has more hate crimes,” Brian Levin, Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at CSU San Bernardino, said.

Levin also points towards a further increase, which he believes could be tied to upcoming elections and an overall divisive political rhetoric.

It is worth noting that hate crimes are believed to be widely underreported due to the general hesitation of interacting with law enforcement. A U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics survey supports this, arguing that fewer than half of all hate crimes are actually reported to the police.

Though the number of anti-Asian hate crimes in L.A. is lower than it was in the first half of 2021—16, compared to 23—they are rising across California. 247 hate crimes against Asians were reported in 2021, marking a staggering increase from the 85 in 2020.

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