fbpx

Transgender hate crimes in L.A. County hit highest level, report says

Hate Crimes Los Angeles County

For the second consecutive year, a record number of violent, hate crimes against transgender people were reported in Los Angeles County, according to a report released today. Photo: iStock/Cesar Okada.

For the second consecutive year, a record number of violent, hate crimes against transgender people were reported in Los Angeles County, according to a report released today.

In 2017, 33 crimes targeting transgender people were reported, compared to 31 in 2016, according to the annual hate crimes report issued by the county’s Commission on Human Relations.

The types of hate crimes in the report include aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, robbery, and vandalism.

Gay men, lesbians targeted

Crimes targeting gay men, lesbians, and LGBT organizations declined 8 percent, but still represented 21 percent of all reported hate crimes, and 76 percent of them were violent — a rate higher than crimes motivated by race or religion, according to the annual report issued by the county’s Commission on Human Relations.

“We are truly alarmed at the continued over-representation of African Americans in racial hate crimes and the extremely high rates of violence directed against gay men, lesbians and transgender victims,” Commission President Jarret Barrios said in a statement.

Transgender murders in 2017 highest on record

A black transgender woman was walking to a fast food restaurant in February in North Hollywood when she encountered two white men blocking the sidewalk, according to an incident described in the report. They told her, “We don’t want your kind in this building! You’re a man, not a woman!,” and then repeatedly punched her. When she fell to the ground, the suspects tried to take her purse, but she struggled with them and screamed for help. The suspects fled the scene.

L.A. County hate crimes

Overall, 508 hate crimes reported in Los Angeles County in 2017, a 5 percent increase from the previous year. For the past four years, hate crimes have increased, and since 2013 they have risen 32 percent, according to the report.

Another incident is described in the report.

A Latina lesbian was being affectionate with her girlfriend in October in Koreatown front of a bowling alley. A Latino asked her for a cigarette and then turned aggressive.

“You ruined this neighborhood. Why are you here?”

The man was joined by four friends, who punched the woman and knocked her to the ground. The man then climbed on top of her and repeatedly punched her in the face. He and his four companions then fled. The victim had an epileptic seizure.

Hate crimes occurred throughout the County, but the largest number took place in the San Fernando Valley, followed by the metropolitan region that stretches from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights.

When compared to population, the highest rate of hate crimes occurred in the metropolitan region, followed by the western part of the county that includes a number of affluent beach cities.

Hate crimes findings

Transgender

  • 94 percent of the crimes were violent
  • 50 percent of victims were Latino
  • 29 percent of victims were black
  • 21 percent of victims were white

Gay, lesbian

  • Sexual orientation crimes dropped from 118 to 108
  • 89 victims were gay males
  • 15 victims were lesbian
  • 100 percent of lesbian crimes were violent
  • 3 crimes were targeted against businesses or organizations
  • 1 bisexual person said he was attacked twice

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!