Amid Rising Hate Crimes, LAPD Makes It Easier to Report Hate

As the number of hate crimes rises in Southern California, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has updated its online reporting system to make it easier for the community to report incidents of hate.

LAPD hate incidents

“We hope and look to this avenue as an added way for people to have access to their public law enforcement agency to convey these instances,” said LAPD Chief Michel Moore.

Since 2016 the Community Online Reporting System (CORS) has offered a platform for citizens to report traffic accidents and other non-emergency issues. Using that same system, Angelenos may now report hate incidents as well.

“No door is the wrong door when it comes to reporting hate incidents and hate crimes.”

A hate incident, as defined by the LAPD, is “any non-criminal act, including words, directed against a person(s) based on that person’s actual or perceived protected characteristics. Hate incidents do not violate criminal law statutes. Hate incidents are generally protected free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

Although not legally hate crimes, authorities take hate incidents seriously as these can escalate into crimes. “Make that report, bring that to our attention so the department can be aware of these instances and see how they cluster and concentrate hot spots, if you will, to understand emerging problems,” said Moore.

In 2022, the last year for which the LAPD has complete statistics, 929 hate crimes were reported in Los Angeles County—the second highest number in more than 20 years and an 18 percent increase over 2021.

Religious hate crimes jumped by 41 percent. Anti-Jewish hate crimes, taken as its own category, spiked by 59 percent.

Robin Toma, the executive director of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, attributes the higher percentages partly to better reporting. Starting in 2022, the commission’s online LA vs. Hate project was created for victims who were uncomfortable going straight to law enforcement.

Toma said that when hate victims reported to the LA vs. Hate website, “We received 41 hate crimes that didn’t get reported to the police or sheriff’s, and that makes sense because of the well-documented under-reporting of hate crimes to law enforcement agencies,” Toma said.

The LA vs. Hate project works with all five Los Angeles County districts in order to, as its website states, “address the normalization of hate and inspire people to stand up to it, build understanding about what constitutes a hate act and how to report it, as well as support individuals and communities as they heal from the trauma of hate.”

With two online platforms—CORS and LA vs. Hate—now available for the reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents, law enforcement can intelligently allocate resources and give targeted communities and individuals any needed support.

“Your reports are critically important,” said Joumana Silyan-Saba with the Los Angeles Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department. “No door is the wrong door when it comes to reporting hate incidents and hate crimes.”