Last year, the City of Los Angeles saw one of the highest numbers of reported hate crimes in recent history with 289 — 12 more than 2017.
In the first six months of 2019, there were 150 hate crimes reported to the LAPD, a 20% jump from the first six months of last year, which had 277 reports.
The LAPD defines a hate crime as “any criminal act or attempted criminal act directed against a person or persons based on the victim’s actual or perceived race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender.”
In recent years, the City of Los Angeles has also seen a rise in violent hate crimes, and this year is no exception.
Out of the 150 hate crimes recorded by the LAPD from Jan. 1 – June 30, 2019, 79 of them were violent.
Among the violent crimes, two were assaults against children.
In the first incident, multiple suspects hit a 13-year-old black male victim with their fists while using racial slurs at 10 p.m. on April 6 at the intersection of Westmoreland Ave. and Pico Blvd. in Pico Union.
The other incident occurred when a homeless suspect kicked an 11-year-old black male student while using racial slurs at 7:30 p.m. on April 19 at a market on the 11700 block of San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood.
Both crimes were reported as child abuse and hate crimes with an anti-black bias.
Vandalism and battery – simple assault were the two most common types of hate crimes so far this year, with 37 vandalisms and 36 battery – simple assaults.
There were 40 white victims, 38 Hispanic victims and 34 black victims and three Asian victims according to the LAPD’s publicly available data.
The first six months of data don’t necessarily offer a guide to how many hate crimes might occur during the entire year.
“[Hate crime numbers] can fluctuate by the month… with specific events like elections that can cause monthly spikes,” said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.*
For example, in 2018, only 97 hate crimes were reported in the first six months. Yet in the following six months, 189 more hate crimes were reported.
We will continue to report on individual hate crimes as they are uploaded on the LAPD database. We will also publish an annual hate crime analysis at the end of this year.
How we did it: We examined publicly available LAPD data on reports of hate crimes in the City of Los Angeles. 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.
The LAPD periodically updates past crime reports with new information, leading the department to recategorize past reports. We have been tracking hate crimes since Jan. 1, 2019, numbering them as the reported crime data is made public. Beginning April 1, 2019, we started re-numbering according to the updated numbers from the LAPD. We will look every quarter to see if and how the LAPD has re-categorized past hate crimes.
Additionally, revised reports do not always automatically become part of the public database. But, we will keep monitoring hate crimes in the City of Los Angeles.
Want to know how your neighborhood fares? Or simply just interested in our data? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the California State University, San Bernardino and misstated the percentage increase from the first six of months of 2019 compared to the first six months of 2018.