At 9.4 hate crimes per 100,000 residents in 2011, Antelope Valley has the second-highest hate crime rate of the county’s eight geographic regions, according to the report (pg. 38). This is a slight improvement over 2010, when Antelope Valley topped the list in hate crimes per population. (Read more here).
Antelope Valley, which includes Lancaster, Quartz Hill, Palmdale, Littlerock, Lake Los Angeles, Acton and Gorman, had a total of 35 hate crimes in 2011, according to the report (pg. 38).
California state law defines a hate crime as an incident that demonstrates bias, hatred or prejudice against a victim’s gender, race, disability, religion or sexual orientation. The report does not go into detail about each hate crime reported in the Antelope Valley for 2011. It focuses on hate crime trends countywide for 2011.
The findings show that after falling dramatically three years in a row, the number of hate crimes in the county rose from 427 to 489, a 15% increase over the previous year.
All major categories of hate crimes increased for 2011, with hate crimes reflecting white supremacist ideology rising from being 18 to 21% of all hate crimes.
However, the annual total is still the second lowest recorded during the past 22 years.
“While we are heartened by the relatively low numbers, we are alarmed that 21% of hate crimes show evidence of white supremacist ideology and 12% of hate crimes were committed by gang members,” Commission President Kathay Feng said in a press release. “This means that potentially a full third of hate crimes are committed by mission offenders who believe that they are part of a larger cause to terrorize entire communities.”
About half of all hate crimes were racially-motivated. Once again, African Americans were targeted most frequently (60%), and a greater percentage of hate crimes were committed by gang members.
Among the actual racial hate crimes cited in the report are two incidents from the Antelope Valley.
According to pg. 26 of the report:
January 1, Lancaster — A Latino family found their house burglarized and vandalized with graffiti that included swastikas and the words, “Rat,” “F–k you,” and “White Power.”
June 25, Palmdale — Two black male friends, age 13, were the targets of ongoing harassment for having Latino friends. In this instance, the victims were at the swimming pool of their apartment building when four Latino suspects shouted the name of their gang, “Southside.” They yelled obscenities and called the victims, “porch monkeys,” “banana-eaters,” and “slaves.” The suspects attacked one of the victims and his mother intervened to protect her son. One of the suspects yelled, “F–k you, ni–er!” punched her and pulled her hair. When the father of one of the victims appeared, two of the suspects brandished butcher knives and one told him, “I’ll f–king kill you ni–ers.”
A quarter of all hate crimes reported in L.A. County for 2011 was motivated by the sexual orientation of the victims. As in the past, the overwhelming majority (84%) targeted gay men. Homophobic crimes were more likely to be violent (71%) than either racial (54%) or religious crimes (20%).
Among the actual sexual orientation crimes mentioned in the report was an incident from Palmdale.
According to pg. 29 of the report:
February 29, Palmdale —A Latino male was walking home from a party. A vehicle pulled alongside him and another Latino male exited the car and punched the victim in the face, yelling, “Fa–ot!” The victim said, “I just want to go home. Why are you doing this?” The suspect answered, “Because you’re a f–king fa–ot!” and kicked the victim in his ribs, head, and back. “I’m going to kill you! M.S.!” (Mara Salvatrucha gang)
Although there were no hate-motivated murders in 2011, there was a case in which gang members attempted to murder three African American victims, according to the report.
Hate crimes occurred throughout the variety of regions of Los Angeles County, but the largest numbers were concentrated in the San Fernando Valley. When accounting for population, the Metro region had the highest rate of hate crimes followed by the Antelope Valley.
For the complete report, including hate crime maps, graphs and tables, click 2011 Hate Crime Report.