California leads the nation in hate crimes
December 28, 2011
California recorded more hate crimes than any other state in 2010, according to recently released findings from the U.S. Department of Justice.
California reported 1,331 hate crime offenses in 2010. Three of those crimes occurred in San Luis Obispo.
The FBI describes hate crimes as offenses motivated by biases based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, and disability.
In 2011, San Luis Obispo County saw an increase in hate crimes with the most egregious occurring in Arroyo Grande. Many of the recently reported hate crimes were based on race and/or religion.
In March, four Central Coast residents allegedly set ablaze an 11-foot cross in direct view of a 19-year-old black woman’s bedroom in the Arroyo Grande home she resided in with her mixed race family.
The four suspects face felony charges of arson, cross burning, terrorism, and conspiracy. The charges include hate crime enhancements.
In April, three teens allegedly broke into Mesa Middle School in Arroyo Grande and wrote anti-black and Jewish graffiti on the whiteboards and drew a swastika on an outside door. Statements such as “white power” and “fuck niggers and Jews” were found in several classrooms.
A few weeks later, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputies arrested the teens for vandalism with hate crime enhancements.