Backed by community leaders, Assemblymember Matt Haney and representatives from California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s Office highlighted the 177.5 percent increase in reported anti-Asian hate crimes at a press conference July 1.
Bonta released the 2021 Hate Crime in California Report on June 28, which revealed that reported hate crimes statewide increased by 32.6 percent from 2020 to 2021 — the highest reported level since 2001. Bonta said the report shows that the “epidemic of hate” seen in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic “remains a clear and present threat.”
“As our state’s top law enforcement officer, I will continue to use the full authority of my office to fight back. We will keep working with our local law enforcement partners and community organizations to make sure every Californian feels seen, heard, and protected,” Bonta said in a statement. “While there is no single solution, it’s up to all of us to heed the call, because when our communities feel empowered, they come forward. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we stand united — there is no place for hate in California.”
Sponsored by the Stop AAPI Hate Coalition, Haney has co-authored two bills in response to the rise in hate crimes. First, the Public Transit Ridership Safety bill, which would train transportation staff on how to legally address harassment cases, included hate crimes. Second, the Expanding Civil Rights Protections and Businesses bill, which would train employees at large establishments on how to respond to hate crimes.
“The California Department of Justice report only confirms what we’ve been hearing from API communities all over San Francisco,” said Haney. “And it’s not just violent hate crimes that are on the rise. For every crime that’s reported to the police there are hundreds of incidents of hate based harassment and even violence that go unreported — often targeted at women and seniors.”
More information and resources on hate crimes on a state level can be found at https://oag.ca.gov/hatecrimes.