Figure 1 is a color-coded flowchart that describes the roles and responsibilities of various entities involved in the investigation, reporting, and prosecuting of a hate crime in California. The flowchart is comprised of five boxes that depict the stages of hate crimes through the justice system. The first box is red and begins the process by stating that a hate crime has occurred. The second box is blue and shows that after a hate crime is committed, a party reports the hate crime to law enforcement. The third box is yellow, discusses the process of a hate crime investigation, and flows into both the fourth and fifth boxes. The third box lists law enforcement’s three primary responsibilities; they first investigate the crime, then they may either recommend the hate crime to the county district attorney’s office for prosecution, or not recommend the hate crime in situations where investigation did not yield a suspect. The fourth box discusses the process for law enforcement to report a hate crime to DOJ. The fourth box details that law enforcement submits hate crime information to DOJ each month and DOJ uses these data to report the hate crimes to the FBI and to create an annual report for the California Legislature. The fifth box is green and shows the process of hate crime prosecution for hate crimes. The fifth box shows that prosecutors may choose to prosecute the case as a hate crime or another charge, such as assault, or they may decide to not prosecute for reasons such as a lack of sufficient evidence to prove the occurrence of a hate crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If the case is prosecuted, it could end in a conviction, dismissal, or other disposition.
Figure 2 is a single line graph that shows the steady decrease in hate crimes reported in California from 2007 through 2016, with an increase in reported hate crimes shown beginning in 2014 and continuing to rise through 2016. The chart shows that law enforcement agencies reported nearly 1,500 hate crimes in 2007, which decreased steadily to approximately 750 in 2014. From 2014 through 2016, the number of reported hate crimes increased to almost 950 in 2016.
Figure 3 is a pie chart that shows the 10,409 reported hate crimes in California from 2007 through 2016 grouped by the targeted protected characteristic. The four groupings are as follows: race/ethnicity/ancestry comprising 57 percent or 5,491 of the total; sexual orientation comprising 23 percent or 2,352 of the total; religion comprising 18 percent or 1,871 of the total; and gender, gender nonconforming, and disability comprising two percent or 245 of the total.
Figure 4 is a pie chart that shows the most common types of hate crimes committed by offenders from 2007 through 2016 and reported by law enforcement agencies. The pie chart shows four groupings as well as a fifth for all other hate crimes totaling 10,409 reported hate crimes. Destruction of property, damage to property, and vandalism comprises 36 percent or 3,734 of the total. Intimidation comprises 21 percent or 2,183 of the total. Simple assault comprises 20 percent or 2,105 of the total. Aggravated assault comprises 17 percent or 1,724 of the total. Other comprises six percent or 663 of the total.
Figure 5 is a pie chart shows the percentage and numbers for the 10,409 reported hate crimes from 2007 through 2016 grouped by the relationship of the hate crime victim to the suspect. The three relationship categories depicted are as follows: suspect identified but has no known relationship to the victim, which comprises 52 percent or 5,378 of the total; suspect identified and is known to the victim, which comprises 19 percent or 1,943 of the total; and suspect is unknown to the victim, which comprises 29 percent or 3,088 of the total.
Figure 6 is a stacked bar graph that shows the maximum conviction lengths for a stand-alone hate crime offense and the most common underlying non-hate crime offenses, all grouped by felony or misdemeanor. The graph also shows the maximum hate crime sentencing enhancement added onto the underlying non-hate crimes to show the maximum sentence for a hate crime offender based on the type of underlying crime and the application of the hate crime enhancement. For each crime, we have depicted the longest sentence provided by statute and assumed no prior convictions, aggravating factors, or other non-hate related sentencing enhancements. It also assumes that the person who commits or attempts to commit a felony that is a hate crime did not do so in concert with another person. If the person commits or attempts to commit a felony that is a hate crime voluntary acted in concert with another, then that person could receive a total of four years as a hate crime sentencing enhancement. The chart shows the maximum sentence for the underlying non-hate crime offense in light blue, the maximum sentence for the hate crime enhancement in dark blue, and the maximum sentence for the stand-alone hate crime in pale blue. As felonies, the chart shows the following: assault with a firearm with a maximum sentence of four years; battery with a maximum sentence of three years; criminal threats with a maximum sentence of three years, and vandalism with a maximum sentence of three years. For each of these felonies, prosecutors could add the maximum hate crime enhancement of three years to increase the sentence. Note that assault with a firearm means that least serious assault-related firearm charge. As misdemeanors, the chart shows the following: criminal threats with a maximum sentence of 364 days; stand-alone hate crime with a maximum sentence of 364 days; simple assault with a maximum sentence of six months; vandalism where the crime did not cause property damage in excess of $950, with a maximum sentence of 364 days; and vandalism where the crime caused property damage in excess of $950, with a maximum sentence of 364 days. For the criminal threats, simple assault, and the vandalism where the crime did not cause property damage in excess of $950, prosecutors could add the maximum hate crime enhancement of 364 days to increase the sentence. For the vandalism where the crime caused property damage in excess of $950, prosecutors could add the maximum hate crime enhancement of three years to increase the sentence. Note that simple assault means the least serious assault-related charge.
Figure 7 is a combination of two heat maps both of which show the hate crimes reported by LA Police grouped by the assembly district related to the address listed on the hate crime within each of two data sources. The first heat map shows the LA Police and the second heat map displays data available from DOJ. One heat map shows hate crimes reported by LA Police from 2014 through 2016 grouped by assembly district using the address of the LA Police’s reporting division. This heat map shows that hate crimes occurred in several different assembly districts throughout LA Police’s jurisdiction. A second heat map shows hate crimes reported by LA Police from 2014 through 2016 grouped by assembly district using the address tracked by DOJ, which is the single headquarter location of the law enforcement agency who reports the hate crime. This heat map inaccurately shows that all hate crime reported by LA Police from 2014 through 2016 occurred within a single assembly district, the district in which LA Police’s headquarters is located.
Response Figure 1
The LA Police hate crime guidelines describe the definition of a hate crime and hate incident. The guidelines outline how an officer should conduct a hate crime investigation. For example, the guidelines specify what to do when arriving at the scene of a crime, what to ask victims and witnesses, and what evidence to collect. The guidelines also detail how to complete a crime report and what follow-up the officer should conduct after the initial investigation concludes.
Response Figure 2
LA Police requires its officers to complete the supplemental hate crime report when they arrive at the scene of a potential hate crime. The report asks officers to record the type of bias that may have motivated the crime, the reason for the bias, and any evidence, weapons, or medical issues they observe.
Response Figure 3
The LA Police Hate Crimes Resource Pamphlet lists all of the LA Police department community police stations and their contact information. It also lists various resources, including government and community based organizations that assist victims.
Response Figure 4
The investigating detective completes the checklist, which helps ensure that the officer has complied with all of the LA Police’s policies concerning hate crimes. For example, the checklist includes whether the hate crime was documented in the watch commander’s daily report, whether the detective attempted to contact the victim within 10 calendar days, and whether the hate crime was reported to DOJ.