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L.A. Law Enforcement Leaders Pledge To Act Swiftly On Hate Crimes

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The sad reality is that reports of hate crimes have spiked in the wake of Donald Trump’s election win. The trend is so pronounced that it prompted Los Angeles County Supervisors to pass a motion yesterday that ensures a swift and thorough response to reports of hate crimes.

On Wednesday, L.A's law enforcement leaders stepped forward to echo the Board of Supervisor's call for timely action. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck and Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey held a press conference to emphasize the city’s stance against hate. Among the topics discussed was the all-too-common scenario in which a victim, for various reasons, decides against reporting a hate crime. As noted by Feuer, the victims may be undocumented immigrants who are afraid of exposing their status, reports the L.A. Times.

“Acts of hate tear at the fabric of who we are as a nation, and we want to send a strong message that no one should be reluctant or afraid to report a hate crime,” said Feuer. “None of us is ever going to re-victimize someone who is either a victim or a witness of a hate crime.”

Feuer’s office, in a statement released after the conference, said that the gathering was held in light of a “national trend” in which there’s been a 6% increase in hate crimes against Muslims, as reported by the FBI. On Wednesday, Feuer tweeted some additional data provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center; according to the statistics, there were seven reports of hate crimes in the county during the first week after the election.

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Between 2014 and 2015, L.A. County saw a 24% jump in hate crimes, according to a report by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations; the figure is even more stark when one considers that, for the previous seven years, reports of hate incidences had been declining.

Beck said in Feuer's release that, "Hate crimes are more than just attacks on an individual, they terrorize communities.” Beck added that the LAPD now has a “Hate Crime Coordinator” and dedicated hate crime detectives at each of their police stations.

Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released a statement yesterday saying that the motion passed will ensure that authorities will, among other things, provide “information on protection, and opening lines of communication to encourage reporting of hate crimes and incidents."

Victims and witnesses are encouraged to report hate crimes by calling a toll free number (877) 275-5273 set up by the LAPD. Callers are assured that law enforcement will not inquire about an individual's immigration status.