March 31 was a big day for hate crimes in Los Angeles.
There were eight hate crimes reported to the LAPD, the biggest day since the data count began on Jan. 1, 2010, according to publicly available data.
This number almost triples the second-highest day this year, which was March 26, with three reported hate crimes.
A major driver of the March 31 spike is one single incident at an Encino restaurant that appears to have led to four separate reports.
That incident took place at 12:45 a.m. in a Lebanese restaurant at the Encino Town Center, a local shopping mall. A group of suspects threw objects at four victims. Two of the victims were white males, one was a black male and one was a Hispanic female, according to LAPD data.
As a result, Encino has the highest number of hate crimes of all LA neighborhoods this year so far, with seven counts total. The daily average count of hate crimes for the first three months of this year across the City of Los Angeles is about two per day.
But that wasn’t the only incident on March 31.
Two other hate crimes that day both happened at the intersection of Maltman and Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake at 11:15 a.m. A homeless suspect violently attacked two victims while using hate-related language. The suspect also spat at both the 48-year-old white male and 43-year-old black female victims.
The seventh hate crime on March 31 was classified as “criminal threats,” which is when someone threatens to harm or kill someone else. At 3:45 p.m., a suspect used racial slurs, hate-related language and profanities on an unknown victim near a local needleworks shop at 200 26th St. in Brentwood.
The final hate crime that day was vandalism. At 8 p.m., a suspect vandalized a Firestone Complete Auto Care store at 6100 W. Manchester Ave. in the neighborhood of Westchester, causing less than $400 worth of damage.
We rely on publicly available data from the LAPD that doesn’t always tell the complete story of a hate crime. Also, sometimes the department will go back and change details of a crime as investigations continue.
The LAPD said to take this record-breaking March 31 day with a grain of salt.
Daily “spikes” in numbers “are common because we have such a low incidence of crimes over the course of a year,” said Det. Orlando Martinez, head of the hate crime unit at the LAPD.
How we did it: We examined LAPD publicly available data on reports of hate crimes for 2019, which revealed a daily spike on March 31, 2019. For neighborhood boundaries, we rely on the borders defined by the Los Angeles Times. Learn more about our data here.
LAPD data only reflects crimes that are reported to the department, not how many crimes actually occurred. In making our calculations, we rely on the data the LAPD makes publicly available. On occasion, LAPD may update past crime reports with new information, or recategorize past reports. Those revised reports do not always automatically become part of the public database.
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