Report: 2019 Hate crimes in Orange County

Hate crimes not only rose for the fifth year in a row but by the biggest jump, 24%, of the past five years.

The 2019 Hate Crimes Report released Tuesday, cites 83 hate crimes reported last year to local law enforcement agencies, education institutions, and community-based organizations. That’s up from 67 in 2018.

The Orange County Human Relations Commission made the report public during a Zoom webinar held Tuesday evening.

Anti-gay sentiment drove 78% of the 18 hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender in 2019.

When it comes to religious intolerance, people of the Jewish faith were most often the victims of both hate crimes and hate incidents, according to the report.

Religion motivated 28% of the hate crimes last year in Orange County; Jews were the targets in 11 of those 21 reports. Nine other incidents evenly involved anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian sentiment; one report was described as anti-Scientology.

Antisemitism was behind nearly two-thirds of the 44 hate incidents based on religion.

The most notorious hate incident last year involved a photo that surfaced on social media and showed a group of Orange County teens with arms raised in Nazi salutes as they stood around plastic red cups arranged in the shape of a swastika.

The photo, which drew national attention March 2019, was taken at an off-campus party attended by students from Newport Harbor, Costa Mesa, Estancia and Corona del Mar high schools. Members of the local Jewish community immediately responded by rallying around the students to educate them on the Holocaust and antisemitism.

Harassment and hate speech made up nearly three-quarters of the 2019 hate incidents. Most, 44%, took place on school campuses.

Source: ocregister