Statement by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in Support of Board Chair Hilda Solis’ Motion Addressing Hate Crimes
“According to the Commission on Human Relations’ most recent hate crimes report, the number of hate crimes reported in Los Angeles County rose 24 percent from 2014 to 2015, breaking a seven-year general downward trend. The number of hate crimes statewide also increased – by 10 percent in 2015.
“The rise in hate crimes was across all the major categories — not just race, ethnicity, national origin, but also sexual orientation, religion and gender identity.
“Los Angeles experienced the highest rate of violence for homophobic crimes since 2003. African-Americans were grossly over-represented as victims, even in hate crimes that were not motivated by race. Disturbingly, many hate crimes in 2015 occurred in public places – on public transportation, on the sidewalk, and in plain view of others.
“We know that after triggering events, there is an increase in hate crimes and incidents. For example, anti-Muslim crimes increased after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. Four such crimes were reported after the Paris attacks on Nov. 13. Nine followed the Dec. 2 mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.
“The November 8th election is turning out to be another triggering event. This board has stood up to hate on several occasions – most recently the May 2016 motion supporting the ban on travel for county business to North Carolina until HB2 is lifted and the December 2015 motion on violence and acts of hate.
“We will continue to say ‘not on my watch’ when it comes to acts of hate.
“I support this motion, I thank the Chair for putting a spotlight on this issue and l look forward to hearing back from the departments.”