Los Angeles City Councilmember Nithya Raman on Sept. 1 introduced a motion that seeks to improve the city’s framework for reporting hate crimes and collecting data through technological solutions.
Through these improvements, this motion aims to remove barriers to understanding trends that could inform policy decisions on where resources are needed to address the rise in hate incidents.
“Since 2016, we’ve seen an unprecedented rise in hateful incidents and rhetoric in Los Angeles, including a 114% increase in reported hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in 2020 alone,” said Raman. “While the city has made great strides in increasing access for city residents to report hate incidents, shortfalls remain in how we take reports and collect data. If we intend to develop meaningful and proactive mitigation strategies, it is critical that we have access to this information.”
According to available data, Incidents of hate crimes in Los Angeles rose 55% between 2016 and 2020. This increase in hate crimes also shows a rise in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks during a time where hate crimes have become more violent. LAPD data shows a 72.2% increase of hate crimes involving aggravated assault in 2020.
However, evidence suggests these numbers may in fact misrepresent the true number of incidents, which are widely believed to be much higher. Comparison data from nonprofit organizations and government sources show a wide gap in reporting to law enforcement. Historically, the only direct reporting mechanism for hate crimes and hate incidents at the City of Los Angeles has been through the Los Angeles Police Department.
“Hate is on the rise in Los Angeles, and we must rise as well,” said Capri Maddox, executive director of the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department (LA Civil Rights). “The City of Los Angeles has the capability to expand our technology and open up more avenues for reporting hate crimes and hate incidents so that we can better track, understand and prevent hate in our city. I am so thankful to Councilmember Raman and the entire City Council for their leadership in this effort to stop hate in L.A.”
The motion asks the Civil, Human Rights, and Equity Department and the Information Technology Agency, with support from the LAPD, to report back within 60 days on the development of a dedicated mobile app for reporting hate incidents and/or integration into the My311LA app and the creation of a data analysis tool for regional hate-related data.
Additionally, the motion requests the chief legislative analyst to report back on state and federal funding available for the City of Los Angeles to synthesize and analyze hate act data trends and identify additional resources to address and prevent these acts.