Hate Crimes Rising in Orange County, Report Says

Hate crimes in Orange County, California, are on the rise, according to an annual report released by the Orange County Human Relations Commission. The 2019 Hate Crimes Report, which was made public during an Oct. 20 webinar, showed that 83 hate crimes took place in Orange County in 2019 compared to 67 a year earlier—a 24 percent increase and the biggest jump in the last five years. The report also showed that during the same time period hate incidents declined, from 165 incidents in 2018 to 156 in 2019. Hate crimes are defined by California law as criminal acts that are motivated by disability, gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation. In comparison, hate incidents are noncriminal behaviors motivated by the same characteristics as the crimes, many of which are protected by the First Amendment right to free expression. The Hate Crimes Report was developed using information gathered from 19 …