What You Need to Know

Among several factors impacting the numbers, underreporting of hate crimes is certainly one of them. Many victims of hate crimes are reluctant to contact law enforcement due to a variety of reasons: distrust towards government due to post-911 policies and programs, lack of knowledge about the criminal justice system, fear of retaliation, linguistic and cultural barriers, immigration status, apathy towards recourse and prior negative experience with government agencies to name a few. The greater the number of barriers to understanding and trusting law enforcement and or government agencies, the more likely that hate crimes are underreported. (Most information here sourced in Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission)

Therefore, information contained in hate crime reports under-represent the total number of hate crimes actually committed.

  • According to the Los Angeles City Attorney's office in 2003, one-third of victims of hate crime are under the age of 18

  • According to the FBI, anti-Islamic incidents were the second least reported hate crimes prior to 9/11, but following 9/11, they became the second highest reported among religion-bias incidents. From pre-9/11 to post-9/11, a growth of 1600% took place.

  • According to the LACCHR'S 2003 report, many immigrant groups including Asians, Middle Easterners and Latinos, are likely to under-report hate crimes against them for several cultural reasons, such as reluctance to contact authorities, lack of familiarity with hate crime laws, etc.

  • As of January 2002, the Intergroup Clearinghouse reports that there have been more than 1,700 cases of discrimination against Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, Sikh Americans, and South Asian Americans.

To access the FBI's annual hate crime statistic reports, go to:

Keep in mind, these statistics only include reports captured by law enforcement agencies and compiled by the FBI. Many victims choose not to report directly to law enforcement for several reasons (see above).

To access the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations annual hate crime reports, go to:

Keep in mind, these statistics only include cases that were reported to law enforcement in Los Angeles County, a handful of 80 schools and 13 community college districts, an array of community-based organizations including MPAC, and directly from victims themselves. Underreporting impacts the accuracy of the numbers.

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