BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – An alarming report from the California Attorney General shows skyrocketing numbers of reported hate crimes targeting Black and Asian.

Attorney General Rob Bonta says hate crimes reported shot up nearly 33% last year, the highest since after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Calling the numbers in the 2021 Hate Crimes in California report an “epidemic of hate.”

“Our diverse communities know all too well from lived experience,” said Bonta. “Year-over-year we saw a 32.6% increase in reported hate crimes between 2020-2021 in California.”

In the last decade, reported hate crimes increased by 89% with 2014 being the year with the least reported hate crimes.

“Anti-Black hate crimes were yet again the most prevalent,” said Bonta. “Overall increasing an alarming 12%.”

The total number of bias-based events in California was 1,763 in 2021, with crimes targeting Black people being the most prevalent, increasing by 12.5%. Crimes targeting Asians seeing a shocking increase by 177.5%.

“That is after an increase of 107%, so 177.5% increase followed by 107.5%,” said Bonta. “These statistics hit really close to home for me.”

Reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation spiked 48%, while anti-Latino bias events rose nearly 30% in 2021. Among hate crime events based on religion, anti-Jewish bias increased by 32%.

Here at home, joint stats from BPD and KCSO report only 10 crimes labeled a “hate crime.”

The majority of local reported hate crimes in 2021 took place in Bakersfield, Delano, and Ridgecrest.
Only one hate crime was successfully convicted as a hate crime.

Looking ahead, KCSO already reports about two hate crimes, one being a civil rights violation. Bonta also announced the creation of a statewide hate crime coordinator position to oversee reporting and prosecution of hate crimes.

“Our state will always be a place where everyone is welcome,” said Bonta. “A place of freedom, a place of opportunity.”