New California Crime Data

KQED - Calling it an "epidemic of hate," Attorney General Rob Bonta on Tuesday released the 2021 Hate Crime in California report, showing hate crimes spiking by 33% last year.

"In fact, a level we haven't seen in California since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11," said Bonta at a press conference in Sacramento.

The total number of bias-based events in California was 1,763 in 2021, with crimes targeting Black people being most prevalent, increasing 12.5% from 456 in 2020 to 513 in 2021.

Anti-Asian hate crimes rose a staggering 177% after a 107% increase the year before, "and these statistics hit very close to home for me personally," said Bonta, the first Filipino American to be California's attorney general.

Reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation spiked 48%, while anti-Latino bias events rose nearly 30% in 2021. Among hate crime events based on religion, anti-Jewish bias increased 32%.

Although the number of cases filed for prosecution by local prosecutors increased by 30%, Bonta noted that hate crimes are often underreported, and his office cautioned against comparing data among California counties due to differences in reporting and charging decisions.

"Each of these incidents represents an attack on a person, a neighbor, a family member, a fellow Californian," said Bonta. "And worse, we know our statistics likely are not exhaustive" since some victims decline to come forward.

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