The county’s report on hate crimes, which was released Thursday indicated a 28-percent rise in such incidents. This excerpt from our story gives some local flavor to the report:
The report said there were 94 hate crimes reported in the San Gabriel Valley and another 45 reported in the East Los Angeles area, which includes Montebello, Pico Rivera, La Mirada, Whittier and La Habra.
The spike, which comes as the Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles Police Department reported a 5 percent to 6percent reduction in overall crime, was driven by several factors, including gang rivalries and tensions between African Americans and Latinos, officials said.
The report specifically addressed a series of attacks on Latinos by suspected black gang members in Pasadena beginning in 2006. By August of last year, 69 incidents had been investigated, according to the report.
“We talked about the Pasadena situation – `Sock on Mexicans’ – in detail there,” said Robin Toma, executive director of the commission. “That was a notable challenge.”
Toma also referred to recent gang violence that took the lives of 63-year-old Sanders Rollins, 16-year-old Sammantha Salas and 19-year-old Brandon Lee earlier this year.
Then there’s this from the LA Noir blog:
Now, I’ll be honest, I’ve never quite understood the point of a hate crime category. Yes, I get the whole stamping out racism thing. Yes, continuing to allow certain activities and language during a crime against a particular group helps perpetuate it. I get all that. I see the reasons.
However. What is it that makes a white man killing a black man worse than a white man killing a white man? Murder’s murder regardless of the gender, race, sexual orientation, fashion sense, penchant for silly hats, body odor, or any of another thousand things that might define a particular victim.