Los Angeles City Council passes motion to improve hate crime reporting – NBC Los Angeles

LA City Council on Friday passed a motion to improve the city’s systems for people who must report hate crimes, citing a disparity between the number of such crimes reported to law enforcement and the number reported to the non-profit organization Stop AAPI Hate.

The effort was led by Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who introduced a motion passed in November for the Department of Civil + Human Rights and Equity and the Information Technology Agency to report on ways to improve access to report hate incidents, including through a dedicated mobile app or the My311LA app.

As a result of the report, City Council voted Friday for the City Administrative Officer to identify funding to build capacity for 311 staff to include providing trauma-informed training for staff. of 311 addressing hate reporting calls, as well as funding opportunities to support improvements in hate reporting, address the needs of victims of hate crimes, improve the effectiveness of bystander interventions, and support research partnerships to study the feasibility of a reporting application.

“I am very committed to this work: the sharp increase in hate crimes in Los Angeles requires informed policy decisions and broad mitigation strategies. But it is difficult to move forward without more reporting and better data that allows us to understand hate crime trends,” Raman said in a statement Friday. “Implementing the recommendations in this report will help us take the next steps in our city and help us develop culturally appropriate responses, including increasing investments in hate crime responses that go beyond of law enforcement alone.”

The motion also directed the Department of Civil and Human Rights and Equity, the Information Technology Agency, and the Los Angeles Police Department to provide quarterly progress reports on the implementation implementation of expanded reporting scopes and the integration of hate reporting data.

“Hate cannot have a home in Los Angeles. I am so grateful to leaders like Council Member Raman for working to protect our most vulnerable and ensure that
Los Angeles is a national leader in hate prevention,” said Capri Maddox, executive director of the LA Department of Civil Rights. “Today’s vote will allow us to better track and respond to hate crimes, as well as develop models for hate intervention and prevention. It’s just one way to build an LA for everyone.”

Raman said in November that although the Los Angeles Police Department records hate crimes and hate incidents, comparison data from nonprofits shows a huge reporting gap.

“That means the LAPD numbers are likely a drastic undercount, and it’s preventing us from developing better policy, it’s preventing us from making resources available that can actually target hate crimes,” Raman said in a statement. november.

Reported violent crimes against Asian Americans doubled between 2015 and 2018 nationally, and the LAPD reported an increase in LA in 2020, when 15 hate crimes were reported against the Pacific Islander community Asian Americans, up from seven in 2019. In 2020, the city had a total of 24 hate incidents and hate crimes reported against Asian Americans.

Meanwhile, the nonprofit organization Stop AAPI Hate reported 245 hate crimes and hate incidents in Los Angeles County in just seven months of 2020, from March 19 to October 28.

“These shortcomings may be due in part to fear of reporting to law enforcement, a lack of awareness of the rights and resources afforded to victims, and barriers to accessing official reporting sources,” said a motion presented by Raman in September. “Historically, the only direct reporting mechanism for hate crimes and hate incidents in the City of Los Angeles was through the Los Angeles Police Department.”

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