L.A. County Sees Its Lowest Tally of Hate Crimes in 24 Years

Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2014

Los Angeles County saw the fewest number of hate crimes reported in 24 years in 2013, but black residents made up the overwhelming majority of victims [Ed: Below it says blacks were one-third of victims] despite making up less than 10% of the population, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the Commission on Human Relations.

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The report also came with a major caveat: The vast majority of hate crimes are never reported or are not classified as hate crimes by police departments, according to the commission.

The 384 hate crimes reported in the county in 2013 was the lowest total since record-keeping began in 1980, and blacks, Latinos, Jews and members of the LGBT community were victims of fewer hate crimes than in 2012.

But with 140 hate crimes reported against them, blacks still made up more than one-third of the hate crime victims last year.

Some long-held patterns persisted: Blacks and Latinos targeted each other with disturbing consistency.

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The pattern is prevalent in communities where Latinos are moving into traditionally black neighborhoods, the report states. The influence of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, which has waged war with black inmates, has played a significant role as Latino gang members target black gang members and, sometimes, innocent bystanders, the commission said.

When hate crimes against blacks were reported in 2013, Latinos were the suspects 62% of the time. When the victim was Latino, the suspect was black 71% of the time. In these incidents, a majority of the Latino suspects were gang members but that was not the case for the black suspects.

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