Attorney General Rob Bonta found that hate crimes in California rose 20.2 percent from 2021 to 2022, according to a new report, a number that may be underreported because many of the incidents go unreported.
During a roundtable in Fresno, where he was accompanied by that city’s mayor, Jerry Dyer, he explained that attacks against people of African descent increased by 27 percent, while hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation prejudice increased by 29 percent percent increased.
“We have data from the California Department of Justice and hate crimes are increasing year over year in all categories,” he said.
“In California, we must stand together against hate and extremism. There is no place for hate in California,” Bonta said.
“I am proud to support our local partners in identifying best practices, fostering community engagement and working on community-focused solutions to eliminate hate and extremism. Our message to Californians: We see you, we support you and we will do our part to ensure every Californian feels safe in their cities and communities,” he added.
Fresno County is no stranger to hate crimes, with a total of 23 incidents reported last year, including 13 in the city of Fresno.
It’s worth remembering that earlier this year, popular Fresno restaurant Tasty Thai joined the growing list and was forced to close due to racist attacks and allegations that the owners served dog meat.
“When I realized how bad it was, I knew we had to choose safety first and that is the reason we closed. And the reason for that is because my parents have been immigrants for 40 years and they don’t even know what social media is,” David Rasavong, owner of Tasty Thai restaurant, told officers.
State and local leaders have focused on solutions that include a stronger response to hate and bias, as well as strengthening law enforcement and enforcement.
“Unfortunately, when we talk about the topic of hate and hate incidents and crimes, it is often underreported, making it difficult for law enforcement to truly assess the impact,” noted Fresno Mayor Jerry Farber.
In May 2021, Attorney Bonta founded the Office of Racial Justice, which supports the California Department of Justice in advancing the civil rights of all Californians and plays a critical role in combating hate and bias in the state.