Los Angeles County recorded 524 hate crimes reported in 2019, the most since 2009. And although the annual number of hate crimes is far less than its recent peak of 1,031 in 2001, the figures have trended upward over the past six years, according to data published Oct. 23 (PDF) by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations.
Now, the UCLA American Indian Studies Center has launched an online interactive hate crime map to help track such incidents across the U.S. The new website is intended to supplement reporting on such crimes, both by inviting submissions from people who have experienced such crimes and by tracking published accounts from news sources.
The site enables users to hover over a U.S. state and view a total number of incidents along with breakdowns for the number of crimes that targeted the victim based on their race, religion or sexual identity. It currently presents data from January 2017 through October 202
The site enables users to hover over a U.S. state and view a total number of incidents along with breakdowns for the number of crimes that targeted the victim based on their race, religion or sexual identity. It currently presents data from January 2017 through October 2020, based on incidents reported in newspapers across the country and by ProPublica and the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center, which tracks crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
The website also includes data gathered during the COVID-19 pandemic by Stop AAPI Hate, which since mid-March has tracked nearly 2,700 incidents of attacks and harassment directed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The site enables visitors to read firsthand accounts of those incidents from observers or victims. The center’s staff hopes that as the database grows, the accounts could help public officials and advocacy programs decide where legal aid, anti-hate programs and public messaging campaigns would be most effective.
Because of how the site sources its reports, it will likely cover only a fraction of the hate crimes actually committed nationwide. But Speed said the team behind the map has already enlisted support from all of UCLA’s ethnic studies centers, is pursuing collaborations with social justice organizations and will continue to comb through published accounts in an effort to make the map as complete as possible. It also plans to seek funding sources that will enable the project to gather more comprehensive crime data from local and state jurisdictions.
The site’s creators hope that over time, researchers and journalists will be able to use it to better track the issues and stories around hate crimes.