FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 19, 2015
(Orange County, CA)—The 2014 Orange County Hate Crime Report, published by the Orange County Human Relations Commission, shows reported hate crimes were down overall in 2014. Violent hate crimes, or crimes against people, were down slightly and crimes against property (vandalism) decreased as well. However, hate crimes that targeted African American, LGBTQ, and Jewish people remained the top offenses. “The injustice of a hate crime must not be counted as a single act against a single person, but must be recognized for the message of intolerance and intimidation it sends across a community of people”, said Commission Chair Ken Inouye.
The 24th annual OC Human Relations Commission Hate Crime Report is based on the Commission’s collaboration between Orange County law enforcement agencies, local schools and community organizations, including the The LGBT Center OC, Anti-Defamation League, Council on American Islamic Relations, NAACP of Orange County, Los Amigos and others. The 2014 report was underwritten by the South East Los Angeles North Orange County (SELANOCO) Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. The focus of the report is bias related crime called “Hate Crime” which is a criminal act committed because of the victim’s real or perceived disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or association with a person or group with one or more of these characteristics. Under California law there are enhanced penalties for hate crimes.
“The data in the Commission’s annual report on hate crime in Orange County and in the annual [hate crime] report published by my office…are vital to inform effective policy making, law enforcement responses and the use of our limited resources. With data-driven solutions, we can all be smarter fighters in the battle for a more inclusive California,” expressed Kamala D. Harris, California Attorney General.
OVERALL OBSERVATIONS FOR 2014
- Reported hate crime in Orange County fell 18% in 2014. 40 crimes were reported in 2014, down from 49 reported in 2013.
- Reported hate crime is dramatically down by about 50% from a decade ago in 2004 (99).
- While violent hate crime is down overall in Orange County, it makes up 57.5% of reported hate crimes, 23 in 2014, from 28 in 2013.
MOST FREQUENTLY TARGETED GROUPS
- 1st- African American Community. 11 hate crimes targeted African Americans in 2014, 11 in 2013. Consistently the most frequent victim of hate crimes since 1991, while only accounting for about 2% of the county’s population.
- 2nd- Gay and Lesbian Community. 8 hate crimes targeted members of the Gay and Lesbian community in 2014, up from 7 in 2013.
- 3rd- Jewish Community. 6 Jewish motivated hate crimes in 2014, up from 5 in 2013.
These groups are followed by anti- Arab or Muslim hate crimes (3 in 2014, down from 6 in 2013) and anti-Latino, anti-Asian hate crimes also remained at 3 in 2014. Other targeted groups included Christian-1 and Buddhist-1.
While we are pleased to see an overall downward trend in reported Hate Crime, we continue to be troubled by the underreporting of Hate Crimes. No one can know for sure how many hate crimes are not reported, but we can be sure that those who work in communities and neighborhoods – law enforcement, churches, schools, community organizations – make a difference in reporting. Consistent outreach and education of residents and staff members helps us all to combat hate and support those targeted.
About The OC Human Relations Commission
Since 1991, The OC Human Relations Commission has been collecting, tracking, reporting, and responding to hate crimes in Orange County. OC Human Relations provides support for victims of hate crimes and trainings for community, educators, students and law enforcement to increase the accuracy of reporting and decrease the number of hate-related crimes and incidents. To report a hate crime that has occurred in Orange County, or learn more, contact James Armendaris at email@example.com or 714-480-6579 or visit www.ochumanrelations.org/hatecrime. Archived OC Hate Crime Reports can be downloaded at www.ochumanrelations.org/hatecrime/hate-crime-reports
CONTACT: Rusty Kennedy, CEO, OC Human Relations, 714.480.6585, firstname.lastname@example.org; James Armendaris, OC Human Relations, 714-480-6579, email@example.com; Alison Edwards, Deputy Director, OC Human Relations, 714-480-6573, Alison@ochumanrelations.org