Hate Crimes Down in Orange County

The total number of hate crimes reported in Orange County decreased in 2010, but there was a slight uptick in such crimes against African-Americans, according to a new report from the Orange County Human Relations Commission.

The commission issues a report annually as a measure of relations between different groups in the county. The report breaks down hate crimes by group and notes crime patterns over recent years.

The commission will hold a news conference Thursday, Aug. 18, to discuss the findings in its report and have community leaders comment.

The meeting will be held at 1300 S. Grand Ave. in Santa Ana at 10 a.m.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Hate crimes targeting African-Americans constitute about one-third of all hate crimes in the county and rose from 16 in 2009 to 18 last year. African-Americans are consistently the most frequent targets of such crimes.
  • Hate crimes against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders continues a downward trend. Six crimes against that community were reported in 2009, and five were reported last year.
  • Hate crimes against Muslims fell slightly, but noncriminal hate incidents more than tripled. Most incidents were against Muslim college students apparently spurred by the disruption of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech at UC Irvine.
  • Hate crimes against Jews fell dramatically from 14 in 2009 to three in 2010. This total might be inaccurate because a key organization lost its data.
  • Of the 29 hate crimes referred to the district attorney, 26 defendants were white, one was black, one was Hispanic and one was described as “other.”