Legislation to Strengthen Hate Crime Protections Moves to Governor

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Steven Senne / AP

Bipartisan Legislation Would Implement Key Recommendations to Improve Law Enforcement Training and Coordination and Better Address Hate-Motivated Violence

Sacramento, CA – After a year marked by a dramatic increase in hate-motivated violence in the U.S., which has prompted fear and concern in many vulnerable communities, including the Asian Pacific Islander (API) and Jewish communities, the California Legislature acted on legislation to significantly strengthen California’s response to the recent surge in hate crimes and hate-motivated violence.

Authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, Assembly Bill (AB) 57 would implement specific recommendations from the State Auditor to enable law enforcement to better prevent, respond to, and document hate crimes.

The measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the State Assembly and the State Senate.

“The recent violence against the Asian American and Jewish communities is unacceptable and demands a firm response from every level of government,” said Assemblymember Gabriel. “At this moment, when so many in our state are feeling vulnerable, we must do more to protect those who are targeted by hate. Our legislation will significantly strengthen law enforcement training and coordination to ensure that California is better prepared to address hate crimes and protect vulnerable communities.”

The dramatic increase in hate-motivated violence in the U.S. has seen hate crimes targeting Asian Americans in America’s largest cities increase by 164% in the past year.

The Anti-Defamation League has similarly reported a surge of anti-Jewish incidents in recent months, which has included violent attacks in Los Angeles and other major urban areas.

AB 57 is part of a package of bills that aims to address the recent surge in hate crimes and violent extremism throughout the United States.

The legislation builds on specific recommendations from the California State Auditor, which found in a 2018 audit that law enforcement agencies in California routinely failed to adequately identify, report, or respond to hate crimes.

The audit concluded that inadequate policies and lack of oversight by the California Department of Justice contributed to a systemic under-reporting of hate crimes across the state.

AB 57 is supported by a diverse coalition of prominent civil rights organizations and is a priority bill for the California Legislative Jewish Caucus

“More than 70 percent of Asian Americans in California live in fear of racially motivated violence and hate crimes,” said Richard Konda, Executive Director of the Asian Law Alliance. “Police training and law enforcement agency policies to guide officers are urgently needed to protect us, and all Californians. We thank Assemblyman Gabriel for this step forward.”

“With our long track record of advocacy in Sacramento to address hate crimes, JPAC is proud to support the passage of Assemblymember Gabriel’s Hate Crime Prevention and Reporting Act Bill,” said Allison Gingold, Chair of Jewish Public Affairs Committee (JPAC). “This critical legislation will significantly impact the rise in hate crimes and strengthen our State’s response to effectively combat it.”

AB 57 now heads to Governor Newsom’s desk, where it must be signed or vetoed by October 10, 2021.

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13 thoughts on “Legislation to Strengthen Hate Crime Protections Moves to Governor”

  1. Keith Olsen

    Legislation to Strengthen Hate Crime Protections Moves to Governor

    The first case when the Governor signs this bill should be the attack on a conservative black gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder by a light skinned woman wearing a gorilla mask.  Yes, an attack on a black person by someone in a gorilla mask.  If that’s not considered a hate crime than what is?

      1. Keith Olsen

        Then fine, charge the gorilla masked offender under the old laws.  The article itself cites past hate crime cases as to why the legislature wants new tougher laws.  Larry Elder is another example.

        1. Bill Marshall

          No worries Keith O… Elder (who, I now regret voting for, as the most likely to be a lame duck alternative) may pursue a criminal complaint, a civil action against the ‘fair skinned woman’ (who could actually be ‘Black’, but light-skinned), but he also plans to claim fraud (before the election) and go to Court to overturn a negative recall vote… see…

          Republicans lob accusations of voter fraud ahead of CA recall | The Sacramento Bee (sacbee.com)

          Of course he would unlikely claim fraud or sue on the results of the second vote, if the first succeeds… integrity.

          We last saw that in November, where presidential voter fraud was claimed, but all the rest of the same ballots were “fine” (except in GA).

        2. Ron Oertel

          You would have to prove that racial hate rather than political animus was the motivation.

          Is that right?

          Are you stating that racial provocation (wrapped in political animus) doesn’t meet the definition of a hate crime?

          Anything goes, regarding that?

        3. Keith Olsen

          That would be up to the local prosecutor. You would have to prove that racial hate rather than political animus was the motivation.

          Obviously David, but if one was going to show animus and accost a black political candidate I would think wearing a gorilla mask would be the last choice of disguise.

  2. Keith Olsen

    Bipartisan Legislation Would Implement Key Recommendations to Improve Law Enforcement Training and Coordination and Better Address Hate-Motivated Violence

    I feel as part of the new hate crime legislation there should be better training to address that if one is a  conservative and subject to a hate crime that they should be treated equally as a liberal/progressive would be treated in the same situation.  Larry Elder doesn’t feel that way in his case:

    California governor hopeful Larry Elder has slammed Democrats for not calling attack on him a hate crime 
    A woman wearing a gorilla mask hurled an egg at the GOP candidate a campaign event Wednesday 
    ‘If I were a Democrat, obviously, this would be called systemic racism, they’d be calling it a hate crime. I don’t like to play that game,’ he said 
    Elder claimed he was ‘physically assaulted (and) shot with a pellet gun’ as he toured a Venice homeless encampment 
    Earlier on Thursday, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva questioned why no-one was calling the attack a hate crime and blamed it on ‘woke privilege’ 
    Villanueva called out ‘woke’ politicians for not showing the same outrage that he said they would if Elder was a liberal 
    The incident, video of which was posted to Twitter, shows Elder as he arrives in his new ‘Recall Express’ campaign bus 
    Elder made it only 12 minutes at the encampment on 3rd Avenue before at least one person hurled an egg at him, causing him to get in an SUV and  leave
    Elder is the leading GOP candidate in the gubernatorial recall race and is vying to become California’s first Black governor
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9976225/LA-Sheriff-slams-attack-Larry-Elder-hate-crime-blames-woke-privilege.html

    1. Ron Oertel

      I agree that the media would have covered this differently, had the political parties/spectrums been reversed.

      When Trump used to talk about “fake news”, I never really got it at the time.  But, I have increasingly noticed a bias regarding coverage, at least. The strange thing is that many people don’t seem to see it.

      I also think you can see this bias in regard to how the capitol riots were covered, vs. the riots that repeatedly occurred over the prior summer. (Or, “protests” – if you prefer.)

  3. Alan Miller

    “The recent violence against the Asian American and Jewish communities is unacceptable and demands a firm response from every level of government,”

    How’s our local Imam doing?  Still getting a firm response from every level of government for giving a speech on killing the Jews, every last one?  Or did he get a pass for ‘apologizing’ with our white non-Jewish officials standing solemn, heads bowed ?

    1. Ron Oertel

      I believe you’re witnessing another example of political correctness/hypocrisy.  At a pretty extreme level, to be honest.

      But also related to issues beyond the U.S.

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