PRESS RELEASE: City Council Advances Hate Crimes Report and Instructions

Los Angeles -- Today, The City Council advanced four instructions based on a report from the Los Angeles Police Department regarding hate incidents and hate crimes, and the tracking, reporting and proactive response to a rising tide of hate crimes in the City of Los Angeles. The report began as a motion co-introduced by Councilmembers Ryu, Blumenfield, Koretz, and former Councilmember Mitch Englander.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 16, 2019

 

Contact for Councilmember Ryu:

Mark Pampanin

mark.pampanin@lacity.org

213.407.7616

 

City Council Advances Hate Crimes Report and Instructions

Data show a steady increase in reported hate crimes since 2015

 

Los Angeles -- Today, The City Council advanced four instructions based on a report from the Los Angeles Police Department regarding hate incidents and hate crimes, and the tracking, reporting and proactive response to a rising tide of hate crimes in the City of Los Angeles. The report began as a motion co-introduced by Councilmembers Ryu, Blumenfield, Koretz, and former Councilmember Mitch Englander.

“The City of Los Angeles is home to one of the most diverse tapestries of religious, ethnic and cultural communities in the nation,” Councilmember Ryu said. “There is no room for hate. Unfortunately, with a national trend toward emboldening hate, we need to be doing more to protect our religious, ethnic and LGBTQ communities.”

“It’s incredibly sad and frustrating to see hate crimes are locally on the rise, following national trends,” said Councilmember Blumenfield. “People are not born full of hate, this is something they learn and are conditioned for and these measures aim to help create a more culturally accepting City. Though Los Angeles continues to be a leader against the policies and rhetoric of this President that enable and sometimes foment hate, I am proud to join my colleagues and law enforcement and come together to help develop a more proactive response to bigotry.”

"That the hate crime numbers are climbing in Los Angeles is startling, but it is also disheartening.  But the numbers are in themselves not a complete picture. The purpose of the report is to try to shed some light about what constitutes a hate crime, how the numbers are calculated, the LAPD’s hate crime reporting requirements and the kind of training officers receive on how to recognize hate crimes,” Councilmember Koretz said. “ We are looking forward to getting the department’s take on what we’re currently doing about the issue and ideas to work with us on more ways to help whether through legislation or educational campaigns."

Preliminary data from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) showed a 17 percent increase in reported hate crimes in Los Angeles since 2016, and a 5 percent increase in 2018 over 2017. The item approved today instructs the LAPD and the City Administrative Officer (CAO) to work with the City’s Emergency Management Department to report back on possible security enhancements around potentially at-risk institutions, identify any possible State or Federal funding for such enhancements, and develop a scalable communications program similar to The Jewish Federation’s Community Security Initiative that could apply to all cultural, ethnic, and other vulnerable communities. Those instructions were approved by City Council today.

The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, which created the Community Security Initiative (CSI) nearly six years ago, was a key partner in helping develop the more proactive approach to combating hate crimes in Los Angeles. CSI serves as a central point of contact for critical incident coordination, shares best safety practices and protocols, and conducts proactive trainings and site visits to develop strategies to keep Jewish Institutions in Los Angeles safe, and better prepare the entire Jewish community for whatever may come its way.

Ivan Wolkind, Chief Operating and Financial Officer of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles said, “It is vitally important that the Los Angeles Jewish Community and the wider Los Angeles community take responsibility for doing what they can to increase their security. We have a wonderful Police Department, of which I am a proud member, but we also need to be partners in our own safety.” He continued, “Our Federation’s Community Security Initiative (CSI) was created to proactively keep our community safe – each and every day. CSI works with Jewish institutions across Los Angeles and gives them the tools and training to allow them to take on this vital role in helping ensure the security of our community.”

The most common hate crimes reported were acts of vandalism, and most often targeted the African-American community, LGBTQ community and Jewish community. Reported hate crimes against transgender Angelenos nearly tripled, increasing from 8 reported hate crimes in 2016 to 23 in 2017. The most common target of religious-based hate crimes in 2017 was the Jewish community.

Read the report and instructions here.

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Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.


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