For over 20 years, OC Human Relations has been collecting, tracking, reporting, and responding to hate crimes in Orange County. Our experts provide support for victims of hate crimes and trainings for community, educators, students, and law enforcement to increase the accuracy of reporting and decrease the number of hate-related crimes and incidents. To report a hate crime that has occurred in Orange County, or learn how to fight hate in OC, email Joyce Sanchez, [email protected], phone 714-480-6580 or click the link at the top of the page.
What Is A Hate Crime?
California Penal Code section 422.55, defines Hate Crime as being a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim: Disability, Gender, Nationality, Race or Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or association with a person or group of persons with one or more of the preceding actual or perceived characteristics. Examples – painting racist, homophobic and/or religious graffiti on private property; burning a cross on an individual’s lawn; an assault; a criminal threat of violence against an individual or group; attempted murder or murder.
A bias related incident is behavior that is motivated by hate or bias towards a person’s actual or perceived disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation but that is not criminal in nature. Typically these behaviors are protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. If this type of activity escalates to threats being made or carried out against a person or property, or becomes an incitement to commit violence it would be classified as a hate crime. Examples – the distribution of non-threatening racist flyers in a public place; displaying non-threatening anti-gay or lesbian placards at a parade or funeral; writing a letter to the editor ridiculing people with disabilities; painting racist graffiti on a freeway overpass.
A hate crime or incident may have occurred if any of the following were present:
- There was a perception that the victim was targeted because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion etc.
- The perpetrator wrote or spoke in a manner that indicated bias.
- The date of the incident or crime coincides with a date that is of significance to the victim’s religion, nationality, ethnicity etc.