LA County Hate Crimes Jump After Paris, San Bernardino Attacks

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Nearly a dozen hate crimes against Muslims and Middle Easterners were reported in Los Angeles County over November and December, compared to one such crime during the same period in 2014, county officials reported Monday.

The analysis was conducted by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations in the wake of the terror attacks that occurred in Paris in November and San Bernardino in December.

Among the 11 incidents recorded:

— on Dec. 1 at a restaurant in Los Angeles, a man asked the victim, “Where are you from?” When the victim said he was from Saudi Arabia, the suspect yelled at him and punched and kicked him;
— on Dec. 2, which was the day a married couple when on a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, an Islamic organization in North Hollywood received phone calls from a suspect who used profanity, ridiculed Islam, and “stated that he hoped that Israel would eliminate Palestine, Turkey and Syria”;
— on Dec. 3, an Islamic school in Hawthorne received a threat that everyone on the premises would be shot;
— on Dec. 14, a suspect defaced the exterior of a middle school in Lake Balboa with graffiti that included expletives and anti-Islamic rhetoric;
— on Dec. 17 at a park in South Los Angeles, a homeless person who is Muslim and from Iraq was punched by a man who used profane language and told the victim, “Go back to your country”; and
— on Dec. 19 in Chatsworth, a man found his motorcycle scratched and spray-painted with anti-Arab language.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion on Dec. 15 to condemn the Dec. 2 attack that killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. The motion directed county agencies to increase outreach and assistance to the targeted vulnerable communities.

Last month, the Los Angeles Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee established a task force to promote stronger relations and cooperation among police agencies and affected communities, and to more effectively prepare for any future incident that could result in a spike in hate crimes.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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