Anti-Asian hate crimes increased 32% in 2019 from 19 to 25. This is the largest number reported in 12 years. Several of the cases involved multiple victims.
Although Asian Americans constitute 15% of Los Angeles County residents, they were targeted in only nine percent of reported racial hate crimes. However, we believe that under-reporting of hate crimes is a serious problem in the Asian community because of linguistic and cultural barriers, immigration status, unfamiliarity with the criminal justice system, and fear that reporting hate crimes could bring retaliation or unwanted publicity.
In 11 of these crimes specific anti-Chinese slurs were used. There were four crimes in which anti-Korean language was reported and three targeting Asian Indians. Japanese and South Asians were targeted in one crime each. In the remainder of the anti-Asian hate crimes no specific ethnic group was singled out. It should be noted that one of the victims was non-Asian but attacked because he was in the company of Asian friends.
Anti-immigrant slurs were used in seven of the anti-Asian hate crimes.
Seventy-six percent of these crimes were of a violent nature, which was lower than the rates of violence experienced by Latinos and Middle Easterners but higher than blacks and whites. The previous year the rate of violence in anti-Asian hate crimes had been 58%.
The most frequent criminal offense was simple assault (48%), followed by intimidation and vandalism (16% each), and aggravated assault (12%).
Anti-Asian hate crimes occurred most frequently in public places (48%), followed by businesses (24%), and residences (12%).
In cases where a suspect was identified, 42% of the perpetrators of anti-Asian hate crimes were Latino/a, followed by whites (32%) and blacks (26%). This represented an increase in the percentages of Latino and black suspects but a slight decrease in the percentage of white suspects.
The following are examples of anti-Asian hate crimes reported in 2019:
Jan. 5, Long Beach: Police officers found a pick-up truck on fire. The officers smelled an accelerant that had been poured on the vehicle’s tires. Once they extinguished the fire they found “F–k Nips” had been spray-painted across the two passenger-side doors.
April 13, San Gabriel: As they were leaving a San Gabriel nightclub a group of friends were attacked by 10-12 members of the Sangras gang. The suspects yelled, “Gooks! Who do you roll with? Are you Wah Ching (an Asian gang)?” Two male victims, one Asian and one white, were savagely beaten. The Asian victim was punched repeatedly in the face and knocked to the ground. The suspects kicked him multiple times and one of the suspects yelled, “Knife him! Knife him!”
The victim was able to break free and run away. During the attack the white male victim attempted to defend his friend and was also beaten. Police arrived and were able to arrest two of the suspects at the crime scene.
May 31, University Park: An Asian male graduate student was about to exit a Metro station when a white male suspect punched him in the eye. The victim attempted to pick up his glasses and escape but the suspect punched him in the nose and yelled, “F—kin’ Chinese!” Passersby began to yell at the suspect, causing him to stop the attack and run off. The victim walked back to his apartment and called police. Paramedics also arrived to treat his injuries.
July 23, Encino: A South Asian male victim was working as a cashier at a carwash. He heard a white male suspect make racial slurs towards various groups. “F–k you n—ers! You are defending those illegal immigrants! F–k you Mexicans!” The victim told him. “You need to leave my business! Stop bothering my employees and customers.” The suspect replied, “You Punjabi motherf–ker! Go back to India!” and struck the victim in the stomach with his skateboard. The suspect was later arrested.
Dec. 31, Santa Monica: Three young Asian males were walking on the Santa Monica Pier when they were attacked by three African American males who yelled, “F–k North Koreans! F–k Asians!”