LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — El Paso. Dayton. Gilroy.
In the wake of a series of deadly mass shootings across the U.S., California State University San Bernardino professor Brian Levin, leading the Center For Hate & Extremism, says the data is clear: we live “in an era of concern.” Hate crimes across the U.S. and in Los Angeles, he says, are up.
Levin’s report, shared with Congress, shows in L.A. alone, hate crimes are up 14 percent this year compared to last.
Last year, hate crimes were also at their highest rate in a decade in many of the country’s biggest cities, including L.A., Chicago and Washington, D.C.
“White supremacist homicides are now up the last few years. The terrorist hate crimes: we’ve seen them spike,” Levin said. “Right today, [we] have more extremist homicides in the United States than we did in all of last year.”
In L.A., anti-black hate crimes rank highest, followed by anti-gay, anti-Jewish and anti-Latino.
“We’ve seen increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Latino,” Levin said.
For some Angelenos, the figures are too overwhelming to consider.
“That’s too much. I just try to block it out honestly,” said L.A. resident Sarah Agee.
The El Paso murders Saturday followed a hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto posted online. The accused 21-year-old gunman fits a profile of recent mass murderers.
“Young people … many of them without criminal records, many of them from relatively stable families. But they have angers, fears and frustration,” Levin said, adding that research shows hate crimes spike around political events.
“November 2016 — election-month,” he said. “That was the worst month in 14 years.”