Hate crimes rose 20.2% in California in 2022

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STEFANIE DAZIO | AP Briefs

Reported hate crimes increased in California in 2022, including instances of violence motivated by bias, according to state data released Tuesday.

Hate crimes involving racism against Black people, as well as homophobia and anti-Semitism, all rose last year, compared with 2021 data. Overall hate crime events — which officials say are likely underreported — increased 20.2% in 2022, from 1,763 in 2021 to 2,120.

Crimes targeting Black people in California remain the most widespread and rose 27.1% — from 513 in 2021 to 652 in 2022 — in the aftermath of the country’s racial reckoning following George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police officers in 2020.

But anti-Asian bias events decreased by 43.3% in 2022, from 247 in 2021 to 140, after major increases in past years following the emergence of the coronavirus in China.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the figures Tuesday during a news conference in Los Angeles. The California Department of Justice has collected and reported statewide data on hate crimes since 1995. “This report is a stark reminder that there is still much work to be done to combat hate in our state,” Bonta said in a news release.

“An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us. The alarming increases in crimes committed against Black, LGBTQ+ and Jewish people for the second year in a row illustrates the need for our communities to join together unified against hate.”

A hate crime is motivated by the victim’s gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Hate incidents such as name calling are not necessarily criminal.

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