In California, you may be the victim of a hate crime if you are targeted because of your race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or if you are targeted because you are associated with a person or group with one or more of these “real” or “perceived” characteristics.
HATE INCIDENT vs. HATE CRIME
While there is a distinction between hate crimes and hate incidents, the LASD takes reports regarding both Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents
Any non-criminal act, including words, directed at a person(s) and motivated by bias against a person, group, or place. A hate incident is an action or behavior motivated by hate or bias but legally protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. A hate incident follows all of the same policies and laws as described in a hate crime.
Hate incidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Utterance of epithets;
- Distribution of hate materials in public places;
- Posting of hate materials without causing property damage; and
- The display of offensive materials on one’s own property.
The freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, such as the freedom of speech, allow hateful rhetoric as long as it does not interfere with the civil rights of others. If this type of behavior escalates to threats against a person, that activity would be classified as a hate crime.
Any criminal act or attempted criminal act directed against the victim, in whole or in part, because of the actual or perceived characteristics of the victim.
Pursuant to Penal Code Sections 422.55 and 422.56, such characteristics of a hate crime and their definitions are:
- Disability – Includes mental or physical disability regardless of whether the disability is temporary, permanent, congenital, or acquired by heredity, accident, injury, advanced age, or illness;
- Gender – Means sex and includes a person’s gender identity and gender expression (such as a transgender person). “Gender expression” means a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior regardless of whether it is stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth;
- Nationality – Means country of origin, immigration status, including citizenship, and national origin;
- Race or Ethnicity – Includes ancestry, color, and ethnic background;
- Religion – Includes all aspects of religious belief, observance, and practice, including agnosticism and atheism;
- Sexual Orientation – Means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality; and/or
- Association with a person or group with one or more of the above actual or perceived characteristics. This includes advocacy for, identification with, or being on the premises owned or rented by, or adjacent to, a community center, educational facility, family, individual, office, meeting hall, place of worship, private institution, public agency, library, or other entity, group, or person that has, or is identified with people who have, one or more of the characteristics listed above.
A hate crime is an actual or attempted criminal act committed against a victim or the property of a victim because the victim is perceived to possess a protected characteristic.
If you believe you are the victim of a hate crime or a hate incident contact your local Sheriff’s Station or Police Department immediately. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
If you are unsure if you have been the victim of a hate crime or a hate incident, law enforcement professionals will assist you in making that determination.
Hate crimes and hate incidents are underreported. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department accepts reporting of both hate crimes and hate incidents.
When someone files a report as a victim, witness, or advocate for a victim of a hate crime or a hate incident, we identify areas in need of intervention and prevention resources such as education and protection of the victim’s legal rights. The victim, witness, or advocate for a victim has the option to consent to receive free follow-up and additional support with resources in their community.
To Report a Hate Crime or a Hate Incident:
If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
If this is an emergency, call 9 1 1. Contact your local Sheriff’s Station or police department, or remain anonymous by calling Los Angeles-Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or by visiting lacrimestoppers.org.
Reporting a Hate Crime or Hate Incident:
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department encourages the reporting of all hate crimes and hate incidents.
To assist in documenting a hate related incident on a report, please provide the following information to responding Deputies:
- Where did the incident occur?
- What happened? Describe the incident in detail to Deputies
- Was any hate speech used towards you or others before, during, or after the hate act was committed?
- Who committed a hate act against you?
- If you know or saw the person who committed the hate act against you, describe the suspect as best as possible
- Provide Deputies with any video footage or pictures you may have of the incident, or of any damage sustained as a result of the incident (e.g., cell phone video of suspect, pictures of graffiti)
- Let Deputies know if you would like to remain anonymous on your report
Helpful resources from the County of Los Angeles, Commission on Human Relations.
How to Contact an LASD Hate Crime Coordinator:
To contact an LASD Hate Crime Coordinator, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or to contact your LASD Station’s assigned Hate Crime Coordinator, call your local LASD Station and ask to speak to the Station Hate Crime Coordinator, or an investigator from the Station’s Detective Bureau Stations | Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (lasd.org)
Los Angeles County, Human Relations Commission
The LA V. Hate Anti-Hate Initiative: hrc.lacounty.gov/la-vs-hate-anti-hate-initiative|
Phone: (213) 738-2788
Los Angeles County, Explore Justice
“Explore Justice” serves as a repository of thought-provoking pieces relating to gender equity, race, unaddressed history, LGBTQ discrimination, and related topics so that students, parents, and educators can use the material to develop understanding on social justice topics.
Website: Explore Justice | 211LA
VICTIM ADVOCACY AND SUPPORT GROUPS
LA vs Hate: provides free assistance to victims of hate crimes and hate incidents in Los Angeles County.
LA vs Hate can be accessed via 211 LA County, by dialing 2-1-1 on any phone in Los Angeles County, or online at: 211LA.org (English and Spanish)
Other Government and Community Based Victim Resources:
For victims of hate crimes and hate incidents outside of Los Angeles County, CA vs Hate can provide assistance with their CA vs Hate Resource Line and Network.
CA vs Hate can be reached at (833) 866-4283 or online at: CA vs Hate
California Victims of Crime Resource Center: (800) 842-8467 or online at: 1800victims.org
California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB): (800) 777-9229 or online at: CalVCB
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Victim Services: (800) 380-3811 or online at: LADA Victim Services
AAPI Community Based and Social Services Organizations:
Stop AAPI Hate: stopaapihate.org (English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Tagalong, Thai, Khmer, Hmong, Hindi, Punjabi)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles: www.advancingjustice-la.org
- (800) 520-2356 (Mandarin/Cantonese)
- (800) 867-3640 (Korean)
- (855) 300-2552 (Tagalog)
- (800) 914-9583 (Thai)
- (714) 477-2958 (Vietnamese)
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council: www.asianpacificpolicyandplanningcouncil.org
Antidefamation League: Fight Antisemitism | ADL
Simon Wiesenthal Center: Simon Wiesenthal Center
Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles: The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles or (855) JFED-HLP
Asian Pacific Health Care Venture
(no Emergency or Urgent Care)
(Bangladesh, Cambodian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese):
Mental Health Resources:
Asian Pacific Counseling and Treatment Center: www.apct.org
Pacific Asian Counseling Services: www.pacsla.org