We are working with the OC Board of Supervisors, 211OC, and community-based organizations to open access for reporting hate incidents and crimes in Orange County. If you have experienced or witnessed bias-motivated hate, we ask that you report it. We want to work together to support those who have been harmed, root out hate, and work toward equity for all to live and work in Orange County free from bias and hate. Reporting hate activity in our county assists in understanding the needs of the community, creating effective prevention initiatives, and addressing the direct and ripple effects of hate.
2021 OC Hate Crime Report – Released September 15, 2022
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.