Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department has long recognized the serious nature of crimes and incidents motivated by hatred. It is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the nation to establish specialized procedures for handling these incidents. In addition to a designated Los Angeles Police Department hate crime coordinator at the rank of commander, detectives are also designated as hate crime coordinators in each of the geographic Area Community Police Stations. In 1997, the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners established a Hate Crime Task Force, consisting of members of the Los Angeles Police Department and representatives from community organizations.
What Is A Hate Crime?
A hate crime is any criminal act or attempted criminal act directed against a person or persons based on the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or position in a labor dispute. Hate incidents are similar to hate crimes. The difference between a hate incident and a hate crime is that a hate incident is not a criminal act. The Los Angeles Police Department has revised the Hate Crime Information Circular to assist community members in an effort to reduce their risk and vulnerability to hate crimes and hate incidents.
The victims, their families and friends can suffer serious personal, financial and emotional losses as a result of a hate crime or hate incident. Hate crime and hate incidents can divide neighborhoods and communities by raising levels of fear, suspicion and lowering openness and cooperation. Hate Crimes, hate incidents and racist behaviors are direct threats to the principles of democracy and equality.
Commander Sharon Papa, Department spokesperson, stated "The City of Los Angeles has a unique and culturally diverse population. Its residents represent nearly every culture, nationality, race and religion on earth. This diversity has significantly contributed to making Los Angeles the vibrant and dynamic City it is today." There are many more helpful hints and facts outlined in the Los Angeles Police Departments "Hate Crime Information Circular." For more information, or to obtain copies of Crime Prevention Circulars, contact Sergeant M. Peterson at the Community Liaison/Crime Prevention Unit, 213-485-3134, or visit our web site at www.lapdonline.org and open the "Crime Prevention Tips" icon.
This press release was prepared by Police Officer Victoria Diaz, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.