The recent attention given to anti-gay hate crimes that took place in San Francisco and Oxnard recently coincide with Attorney General Kamala Harris’ release of the Department of Justice’s annual report on hate crimes. Coincidentally, the Attorney General’s report lists offenses with sexual orientation as the motivation for the attack as the second most frequent type of hate crime in California.
1,425 hate crimes were reported to California law enforcement in 2010, two fewer incidents than the previous year. 358 incidents were due to the victim’s sexual orientation. While assaults on Latinos rose 47 percent, from 81 in 2009 to 119 last year, blacks were the group most likely to be targeted in a hate crime. 324 such assaults were committed against blacks in California in 2010, which was actually less than the 376 hate crimes involving black victims committed in 2009.
A total of 361 hate crime cases were referred by law enforcement for prosecution in 2010, fewer than the 479 cases referred in 2009. Of the 361 criminal cases that were filed, 230 were hate crimes. Of the 166 hate crimes with dispositions in 2010, there were 151 convictions (70 hate crime convictions and 81 other convictions).