Anti-Asian Hate Crimes in LA More Than Doubled in 2020, LAPD Report Reveals

Los Angeles

A report prepared by the Los Angeles Police Department found that hate crimes against Asian Americans in LA more than doubled compared to past years.

Significant increase: The analysis, submitted to the Police Commission last week, noted there were 15 documented cases of hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in 2020 compared to seven in 2019 and nine in 2018, reports the Los Angeles Times.

  • Out of the 15, nine of them were classified as battery and five were either criminal threats or aggravated assault.
  • One incident was a bomb threat made in an email to the Japanese American National Museum.
  • The total number accounted for 4.2% of 355 total hate crimes reported and 8.1% of all hate crimes related to race in 2020.
  • In addition to the crimes, the 2020 figures also showed nine hate incidents against Asian Americans, accounting for 4.5% of 199 total hate incidents reported and 8% of all hate incidents related to race.

Documenting the rise: The LAPD cited “increasing hostility towards the Chinese community” in its report.

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  • It noted that offenders in six of the 24 hate crimes and incidents made references to COVID-19 while anti-Chinese rhetoric was used in seven other cases.
  • Last month, two motions were introduced by members of the Los Angeles City Council to address the ongoing rise in anti-Asian incidents, NextShark previously reported.
  • The first motion called for the LAPD to report data on the increasing crimes while the second motion directed the chief legislative analyst and other departments to report recommendations for strengthening the city’s monitoring and mitigation of harassment in public spaces.

Still unresolved: Many of the 2020 cases remain unsolved. The findings showed authorities have yet to identify suspects in nine of these anti-Asian hate crimes.

  • In two of the cases, the local attorney’s office declined to file charges reportedly due to insufficient evidence. One case remains under review. 
  • The office also did not file hate crime enhancements against a suspect who is facing other charges. 
  • Two of the cases did not go through as the victim and parents of a minor victim decided not to file charges.

Feature Image via Fox 11 Los Angeles

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