Latinos in Los Angeles County were among the most likely racial/ethnic groups in Los Angeles County to be victims of a violent racially-motivated hate crime, according to the annual report of hate crimes released today by the LA County Commission on Human Relations.

Anti-Latino/a crimes rose for the fourth year, with hate crimes against Latinos increasing from 72 in 2017 to 85 in 2018 – a 16 percent uptick. After Middle Eastern victims, Latinos in LA County were the mostly likely ethnic/racial group to be targeted for a hate crime.

“The troubling rise of these acts of hate must be met with unwavering condemnation,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “We must come together in solidarity to combat racism and bigotry head-on. As part of this ongoing effort, we must also initiate honest conversations, and build bridges of understanding with one another to tear down walls of fear and division. Divisive political rhetoric targeted against Latino immigrants has fueled much of this anger and hatred.”

Many Latino immigrants who have endured a hate crime, or who silently suffer at the hands of an abusive spouse, fear reporting their situation to authorities because they do not want to come under the scrutiny of federal immigration agents.

“Every LA County resident has a right to live free of prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and violence,” continued Supervisor Solis. “To that end, I will introduce a motion at our Oct. 1 Board meeting that will launch LA County’s first anti-hate initiative, which will facilitate the way in which residents report hate crimes and will expedite the County’s response so we could swiftly support victims and ensure that justice is served against those who seek to divide us.”

With 521 reported incidents of hate crimes, LA County reported a nearly 3 percent increase in racially/ethnically-motivated attacks from 2017 to 2018. This is a 36 percent increase in the past five years and it is the highest number reported since 2009. For the past five years, hate crimes have been trending upwards. Fifty-two percent of all hate crimes were racially-motivated, and they increased from 256 to 283 – an 11 percent increase.

If you or a member of your family, or community have been subjected to a hate crime, please call your local law enforcement agency, or dial 211, or contact the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission at 213-974-7611, or visit http://hrc.lacounty.gov.

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Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Communications Director, rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov or 213-359-0795