Los Angeles Strengthens Anti-Asian Crime Reporting Over Recent Surge and Unreported Incidents

Los Angeles City Council

Members of the Los Angeles City Council have introduced two motions and one resolution to fight the ongoing rise in anti-Asian incidents. 

In 2020, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) recorded 15 anti-Asian hate crimes, up from just seven in 2019, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Authorities and advocates agree that plenty of incidents go unreported. For this reason, current measures designed to address this problem focus on data collection, encouraging victims to speak up and seek help.

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The first motion presented on Wednesday calls for the LAPD to report data on the increasing crimes. This motion also instructs the department to prosecute suspects and report potential resources that could help reduce the frequency of incidents. 

The second motion directs the chief legislative analyst and other departments to report recommendations for strengthening the city’s monitoring and mitigation of harassment in public spaces. It also asks the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority to report its past and upcoming efforts to prevent harassment on trains, buses and transport stops.

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez and Councilmen John Lee, Mitch O’Farrell and Joe Buscaino introduced the first motion. Council President Nury Martinez, Councilwoman Nithya Raman and all aforementioned councilmembers introduced the second motion.

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Lee and O’Farrell also introduced a resolution that urges federal and state legislators to pass laws against anti-Asian violence.

“Racism against Asian Americans is sadly nothing new, and it’s time for action,” said Lee, according to City News Service. “We need action that goes beyond symbolism — action that protects Angelenos of Asian descent from these kinds of hateful acts and lets everyone know that such behaviors will not be tolerated. Throughout history, we have seen racism rear its ugly head against Asian Americans. We cannot let history repeat itself by acting when it’s too late.”

O’Farrell, who represents Filipinotown, Thai Town and part of Koreatown, acknowledged that many of the incidents target the elderly.

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“The racist rhetoric espoused by bigots since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in scapegoating, hate and violence. Many of these cowardly physical assaults have targeted the elderly. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are cherished members of the Los Angeles community, and I call on each and every one of us to stand against xenophobia, racism and hate wherever it is found,” O’Farrell said.

So far, only one incident has been documented in the city this year. It occurred in West Los Angeles on Feb. 16 and was reported as “vandalism,” according to NBC LA.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Sacramento City Councilwoman Mai Vang announced a similar resolution outside Mad Butcher Meat Company, a business that experienced a hate crime involving a dead cat last month.

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Feature Image via Getty

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