LOS ANGELES— Sending a strong and clear message to the public, the area’s top law enforcement and prosecutorial officials spoke out today against hate crimes and asked victims to come forward, vowing that offenders would be prosecuted.
The message from the Los Angeles County and City leaders is in response to reported recent increase in hate crimes in other parts of the nation. This follows a national trend of a 6 per-cent increase in hate crimes in 2015, a 67% increase in hate crimes against Muslims, according to the FBI.
“Victims of hate crimes need to know we'll stand up for them, that we're here to protect them," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. "We'll vigorously prosecute these crimes, whether perpetrated because of someone's race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Acts of hate tear at the fabric of our nation. We strongly encourage victims to come forward so we can take action."
"We are fortunate to live in one of the nation's most diverse counties. Over the years, we have actively addressed our differences and made firm commitments to reduce hate crimes in our community," Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. "As a former hate crimes prosecutor, I am hopeful that the spike in hate crimes in other parts of this country is not replicated here. We in law enforcement will not tolerate such criminal conduct."
"Hate crimes are more than just attacks on an individual, they terrorize communities,” said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. “The Los Angeles Police Department has long recognized the serious nature of offenses motivated by hatred, and is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the nation to establish specialized procedures for handling hate crimes. In addition the Department has dedicated a Hate Crime Coordinator along with hate crime detectives for each of our geographic Area Community Police Stations. The LAPD is committed to protect and celebrate our diversity, because those differences are what makes Los Angeles a dynamic and vibrant city."
Victims and witnesses are encouraged to report hate crimes by calling:
"ASKLAPD" toll free number (877-275-5273)
Victims and witnesses are free to come forward without fear, law enforcement will not ask about your immigration status.