A new report delivered by the California Attorney General’s Office reveals that hate crimes in the Golden State spiked during the coronavirus pandemic, with more than double the incidents against those in the Asian community and nearly twice as many against Black residents compared to the previous year.
Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Wednesday (June 30) that hate crimes in California are at their highest level in more than a decade.
“We are in the midst of a racial justice reckoning,” said Bonta during a press conference in Oakland, according to KGO-TV. “For too many 2020 wasn’t just about the deadly virus, it was about an epidemic of hate.”
The Black community remains the most often targeted in California, with reported anti-Black bias events up 87 percent in 2020.
Hate crimes were up 107 percent in the Asian community, and that’s with many victims not reporting biased encounters.
“People are fearful of their status, in regards to if they’re here legally,” said Oakland City Council member Sheng Thao, “and so making sure they feel safe to come out of the shadows and report hate crime is going to be incredibly important.”
“If you’re facing a hate crime or are the victims of crime, please come forward,” said Carl Chan, President of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and a recent victim of a hate crime. “There are solutions.”
Bonta is pledging more resources, including more outreach to the public, law enforcement and prosecutors on laws and penalties related to hate crimes.
“We will work with local law enforcement,” said Bonta. “Local law enforcement is fully capable of addressing hate crimes.”