Hate crimes against the Latino population in California increased nearly 30% in 2021, the year in which all communities experienced more attacks of this kind in the state, the office of Attorney General Rob Bonta reported Tuesday.
Crimes with anti-Hispanic or anti-Latino bias increased 29.6%, from 152 reported attacks in 2020 to 197 in 2021, according to data released by Bonta’s office.
Overall, hate crimes reported in the state last year increased 32.6%, from 1,330 in 2020 to 1,763 in 2021, the highest number in California since 2001, when 2,261 hate crimes were reported.
Hate crimes related to race or ethnic origin affected Asians more, with an increase of 177.5%, going from 89 cases reported in 2020 to 247 cases in 2021, a prejudice that increased after the appearance of the coronavirus in China.
Hate incidents motivated by sexual orientation bias increased 47.8%, from 205 in 2020 to 303 in 2021.
“Today’s report shows beyond a doubt that the hate epidemic we saw unleashed during the pandemic remains a clear and present threat,” Bonta said in a statement.
He added that “although there is no single solution, it is up to all of us to heed the call, because when our communities feel empowered, a step forward can be taken.”
Hate crime data has historically been underreported in California. Bonta’s office acknowledged that the data presented in his reports may not adequately reflect the actual number of hate crime events that have occurred in the state.
However, the California Attorney General’s Office warned that the total number of reported hate crime events in 2021 is the sixth highest on record and the highest since these events spiked in 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.