LA County Report Shows Decline in Gay Hate Crimes, Increase in Lesbian and Transgender Crimes

Reported hate crimes in Los Angeles County declined by 17 percent in 2013 from the previous year, marking the lowest total in 24 years, the county Commission on Human Relations announced today. Crimes against gay men fell by 41 percent while those against lesbians increased by 92 percent and those against transgender people increased by 46 percent.

Hate CrimesAccording to its annual report — which defines a hate crime as one in which hatred or prejudice toward a victim’s race or ethnicity, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation was a substantial factor — there were 384 reported hate crimes countywide last year, a decrease of 78 from 2012.

“The continued decline in the number of hate crimes should not lull us into complacency,” commission President Susanne Cumming said. “We know that the under-reporting of hate crimes remains a serious problem. Although the statistics are encouraging, we have to remember that fear, shame and unfamiliarity with the law prevent many victims from reporting hate crimes.”

Similar to past years, four groups represented the bulk of victims of hate crimes, with 82 percent of them being either black, lesbian women/gay men, Jewish or Latino. However, two groups documented in the report saw dramatic decreases: crimes targeting gay men dropped 41 percent from 119 to 70, and anti- Jewish crimes declined 48 percent from 81 in 2012 to 42 last year.

“We’re gratified that in 2013, the number of hate crimes in L.A. County was about half of what was reported six years ago, and there’s a strong downward trend of youth involvement in hate crimes,” said commission Executive Director Robin Toma. “However, on average more than one hate crime was reported every day in 2013, and not every group saw a decline in hate crimes.

We’ll be focusing on those crimes, particularly the continued high rate of violence in anti-transgender hate crimes, victimization of African-Americans by gang members, and continuing human relations leadership development with our youth.”

The report showed that juveniles are showing up less and less as hate crime suspects, becoming the smallest age group for the first time in at least the past 10 years. People under 18 went from being the largest age group among hate crime suspects — 40 percent in 2006 — to being the smallest at 14 percent in 2013.

Further, the most serious criminal offenses also declined. For the first time in 10 years, there were no murders or attempted murders. Aggravated assaults — which include assaults with deadly weapons and physical attacks causing greater bodily injury — decreased 38 percent.

“I attribute the continued decrease of hate crimes to a strong working relationship between law enforcement, educators and a broad array of dedicated community-based organizations throughout L.A. County,” Sheriff John L. Scott said. “Collectively, we have made hate crime prevention efforts a priority and we are seeing the results of this work.”

Although reports of hate crimes against most targeted groups declined, there were some groups which saw increases in 2013 compared to the previous year.

Crimes against lesbians increased from 11 in 2012 to 25 last year,
transgender people went from 13 to 19, Asian/Pacific Islanders were targeted 15 times last year, an increase of 3 from the previous year, Protestants increased from 4 to 8, and Middle Easterners rose from 4 to 5. Hate crimes with anti-immigrant slurs did not see a decline, remaining at 15.

The highest rate of hate crimes took place in the San Fernando Valley.

When accounting for population, the Antelope Valley had the highest rate of hate crimes, followed by the metro region, which stretches from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights.

The commission’s report was generated from data collected from sheriff and city police departments, school districts and community groups.

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Natalie Woodruffgma
8 years ago

luca d, She never said republicans were roaming the streets to beat up Women and Transgender people. Can’t win unless you make something up? During the NO ON Prop 8 protests many WOMEN and Transgender Women & Men were beaten up by “conservatives” who supported Prop 8, especially near the Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Blvd! The term you used in reference to Transgender people “transgendered” is offensive, it is used by “conservatives” who HATE them! Your comments are the ones that are “ill-informed” and do not dignify response! Ask some WOMEN about the GOP’s WAR on Women please! Oh… Read more »

Cy Husain
8 years ago

Luca D, please post something worthy of respect, you are making the Male Gender look BAD! First off the term you used in reference to Transgender people “Transgendered” is a pejorative term! If YOU spend ANY time with the LGBTQ community YOU would know that! On your denial of “The War on Women” you come off like a holocaust denier! New Poll Reveals Independent Women Voters Are Concerned About Washington’s War on Women: Conservatives like to pretend there is no war on women, so PoliticusUSA developed a running list of legislation to prove that there is indeed a… Read more »

luca d
luca d
8 years ago

really? republicans roaming the streets of los angeles county beating up women and transgendered people? is there any line that won’t be crossed on this website by ill-informed political zealots, who post racist and anti semitic rants without reprisal on this and other websites? are there any republicans that can be cited, by name who have been arrested for violence against women and transgender people? NAME THEM. i have a sneaking suspicion that a thorough examination of the demographics will show otherwise. but, why let facts get in the way of a drive by attack. the supposed war on women… Read more »

Emilija Torbešic
8 years ago
Reply to  luca d

Well Luca D, you may think the GOP’s War on Women is a joke but, no one appears to be laughing with you on this one! GOP senators and candidates have tried to strategically distance themselves from their anti-women records for this midterm election season, but with safe control of the upper chamber they would most certainly vote legislation that is harmful to Women’s health like an anti-abortion bill introduced last year by Sen. Graham (R-SC). The GOP has tried to fight the perception that it is out of touch with women voters, and has engaged its candidates in sensitivity… Read more »

Guy Privaton (@guyprivaton)

Of course, I despise hate filled bigots and phobics out there – wherever they are – but I’ve never liked the idea of ‘hate crimes’. Let me explain why: “prejudice toward a victim’s race or ethnicity, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation” …can mean (and I’ve seen this used broadly) that anyone being a jerk or a-hole is now committing a ‘hate crime’. It opens the door to power that is too subjective that can easily be abused against you the next day. In America, people have the right to hate and be prejudicial jerks and bigots. Sure, those bigots… Read more »

Emilija Torbešic
8 years ago

Free expression does not constitute a crime, a physical assault is a whole other matter. Also it should be considered who is in a position of power or in a position to be an oppressor.

Emilija Torbešic
8 years ago

The increase in hate crimes against Lesbians and Transgender Women is part of the right-wing’s overall War on Women! When republicans set an agenda of rolling back Women’s Rights including Reproductive Rights it gives conservative men a feeling of entitlement when it comes to attacks on Women!

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