Despite a 15 percent increase in the number of hate crimes after a three-year decline, L.A. County recorded the second lowest incident number in the past 22 years, according to the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations' annual report released on Wednesday.
“While we are heartened by the relatively low numbers, we are alarmed that 21 percent of hate crimes show evidence of white supremacist ideology and 12 percent of hate crimes were committed by gang members,” Commission President Kathay Feng said in a statement. “This means that potentially a full third of hate crimes are committed by mission offenders who believe that they are part of a larger cause to terrorize entire communities.”
In 2011, there were 39 hate crimes in the South Bay Service Planning Area, which includes the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Long Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Inglewood, San Pedro and Torrance.
The Los Angeles Westside—which includes Beverly Hills, Culver City, Malibu, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice and Westchester—saw the fewest number of hate crimes at 25.
Per 100,000 residents, San Gabriel Valley and L.A. Eastside saw the lowest hate crime rate—both 2.1 percent. The South Bay SPA’s rate was 2.5 percent.
The metro Los Angeles area, stretching from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights, had the highest rate of hate crimes at 10.2 percent.
African-Americans were targeted in about 60 percent of all hate crimes, while a quarter were aimed at people of different sexual orientations.
Compared to 2010, all 2011 hate crime categories in L.A County increased, and at 24 percent, religion-motivated crimes saw the highest increase. The majority of these incidents, 77 percent, were aimed at Jews.
There were no hate-motivated murders in 2011, but there was a case in which gang members attempted to murder three African Americans based on their race.
Patch editor Nicole Mooradian contributed to this report.