Hate Crimes Rise in California for 3rd Straight Year, State Report Says

People march as they participate in the "#NoMuslimBanEver" rally, organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 15, 2017. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

People march as they participate in the "#NoMuslimBanEver" rally, organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 15, 2017. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Hate crimes increased across California for the third straight year in 2017, an uptick experts have blamed on President Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric toward minorities and the resurgence of hate groups in the state.

There were 1,093 reported hate crimes in California in 2017, a 17.4% increase, according to a report released Monday by the California attorney general’s office. Hate crimes have increased annually since 2014, jumping roughly 44% in that three-year span, records show.

More than half of the hate crimes reported in California last year involved racial bias, and about 27% involved animus toward black people, the report shows. Hate crimes targeting victims based on race, sexual orientation and religion all increased sharply.

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, said changing demographics in California and the increased presence of organized hate groups in the state have combined to drive up hate crimes in the state in recent years.

A chart depicts the rise of hate crimes in California from 2014 to 2017 following years of steady decline, as reported by the California Department of Justice. (Credit: Swetha Kannan / Los Angeles Times)

A chart depicts the rise of hate crimes in California from 2014 to 2017 following years of steady decline, as reported by the California Department of Justice. (Credit: Swetha Kannan / Los Angeles Times)

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