The good news is that there were fewer hate crimes in Los Angeles County last year, according to just-released figures from the L.A. Hall of Administration. In fact, the number of such crimes was the second-lowest in 23 years.
The bad news:
More of those violations were violent. That's the bottom line from the annual Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations report on hate crimes. The year 2012 was a mixed bag in the quest for an equal and just society:
The Commission says hate crimes declined 6 percent between 2012 and 2011, from 489 to 462 reports.
But the crimes that did happen were more likely to be violent. Attacks against gays, lesbians and transgenders were up 8 percentage points and racial crimes were up 7 percentage points, according to the Commission's data.
Attacks based on sexual orientation accounted for more than one in every four (28 percent) hate crimes in L.A. county, according to the report. The biggest targets besides LGBT folks were African Americans, Latinos and Jews, the county says.
In the last five years, however, the likelihood that an anti-transgender hate crime would be violent was 95 percent. For Jews it was 16 percent, according to the report.
The report logged seven attempted murders with hate as the motive in 2012, too.
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The Commission notes that hate crimes are underreported, with 24 to 28 times more such attacks happening than are on the record.
Commission president Kathay Feng:
While we are heartened by the relatively low numbers, we need to continue to educate members of the community to report if they are victims of hate crime. Far too often victims suffer in silence and are too frightened or ashamed to contact law enforcement or others for help.