LA County sees uptick in hate crimes in 2011

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Hate crimes increased in Los Angeles County by 15 percent in 2011 after three years of dramatic decline. The Commission on Human Relations said Wednesday the number of hate crimes jumped from 427 to 489.

Executive Director Robin Toma says all major categories of hate incidents increased. He says the trend is worrying but notes the total number is still the second lowest in 22 years.

African-Americans were the target of 60 percent of incidents, with sexual orientation motivating 25 percent. Religion-driven crimes comprised 18 percent.

White supremacist ideology edged up 3 percentage points to 21 percent of all such incidents, while 12 percent of hate crimes were committed by gang members. Commission President Kathay Feng says those increases are particularly worrying because they reflect people on hate-driven causes.

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