LAPD, Other Police Agencies Fail to Properly Identify and Respond to Hate Crimes, Audit Finds

LAPD headquarters are shown in a file photo. (Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

LAPD headquarters are shown in a file photo. (Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have failed to properly identify and respond to some hate crimes and need better policies and training so officers can recognize the specific characteristics of those offenses, the state auditor said in a report released Thursday.

The audit found flaws in the categorizing of hate crimes by the LAPD, San Francisco State University Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The first two agencies failed to correctly identify 11 of the 30 cases auditors reviewed as hate crimes, even though they met the elements of such crimes.

“Officers at these law enforcement agencies may have been better equipped to identify hate crimes if their agencies had adequate policies and methods in place to identify hate crimes,” State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck disputed the findings, saying in a written response to Howle that the audit information was “either incorrectly reported, or misrepresented the Los Angeles Police Department’s position on that topic.”

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