The city of Los Angeles saw a 10.3% increase in hate crimes from 2018 to 2019, according to new data shared at a Los Angeles Council Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday.
Hate crimes have steadily increased in the city, rising 40% from 229 reported acts in 2016 to 322 in 2019, the Los Angeles Police Department announced at the meeting.
The largest increase in hate crimes were against the Muslim community, with a 150% increase from 2018 to 2019, according to LAPD data.
There was a 60.5% increase in anti-Jewish crimes, with the number rising from 43 in 2018 to 69 in 2019, the data showed. Similarly, there were 68 hate crimes reported against African Americans in 2019 and 53 against gay men.
The new data also showed a 23.5% increase in hate crimes against transgender people in 2019, for a total of 21 reported incidents — nearly three times more than in 2016.
“We need to take these numbers seriously — because behind every one of these numbers is a religious minority, a person of color, a transgender or LGBTQ person suffering in fear,” Council member David Ryu said at the meeting. “This is not what Los Angeles should be about. We should be increasing our funding and protection for vulnerable communities and be proactive about hate crime prevention.”
LAPD officials at the meeting reported a lack of state and federal government funds available for hate crime prevention.
Councilmember Paul Koretz said there should be a multi-pronged approach to address the issue, including adding physical infrastructure security at institutions, closing the gap of communication with law enforcement and relevant agencies and educating the community on a regular basis on how to report hate crimes.
The data report was in response to a 2017 motion introduced by council members to track hate crimes throughout the city in order to identify ways to “increase proactive protection for vulnerable Los Angeles institutions and communities,” according to the city.