Jews remain main target of religious hate crimes in 2012 in L.A.

Jews continue to be the single most targeted group of religiously motivated hate crimes in Los Angeles County according to the 2012 Hate Crime Report published by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations that was released on Oct. 2.

“It remains troubling that year after year the overwhelming majority of hate crimes motivated by religion in Los Angeles County … is against Jews and Jewish institutions,” Amanda Susskind, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said in a statement released by the ADL.

In 2012, 89-percent of religiously motivated hate crimes in L.A. County targeted Jews, according to the report.

Meanwhile, L.A. County saw 489 total reported hate crimes in 2012, a six-percent decrease from 2011, the report said. That year, 462 reported hate crimes took place.

Susskind welcomed the decrease in the total amount of crimes.

“We are pleased to see a decline in reported hate crimes in Los Angeles County for 2012,” Susskind said.

The annual Hate Crime Report, a 40-page document of data and analysis, draws on reports from law enforcement, school districts and universities, community-based organizations (including the ADL) and directly from victims.

Legal criteria for a hate crime are highly specific. For instance, in order for an incident to qualify as a hate crime, police officials must establish a connection between the crime and the victim’s real or perceived race or ethnicity.

According to the ADL, the report’s findings concerning Jews being the most targeted group are consistent with state and federal numbers.