The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Hate Crime in Los Angeles

Hate crimes consist of violent acts of intolerance that are intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability. In recent years, there has been an increase in hate crimes nationally but there has actually been a decrease in the number of hate crimes in the city of Los Angeles, according to the FBI. L.A. prosecutors often see hate crimes as very serious offenses, where suspects can face enhanced charges and penalties.

If you need legal advice on any criminal law issue in Los Angeles, including hate crimes, you should speak with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys can assess your legal issue and help develop a good defense strategy. You can find a local attorney by viewing FindLaw's directory of Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys.

Recently in Hate Crime Category

Hate Crime Rate in LA Lowest in Years: Report

Hate crime is down in Los Angeles County by 6% in 2012, from 2011. According to a report released by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, this is actually LA County's second-lowest level of hate crime activity in the past 23 years, with the most violent year being fairly recent -- in 2011, reports the Los Angeles Times.

While there has been progress, the study reveals that there is still plenty of work to be done. What other important results were reported? Here's a general overview of hate crime in LA.

Brandon McInerney Trial for Death of Lawrence King Ends in Mistrial

The tragic story of the death of gay middle school student Lawrence King ended with little resolution after a Ventura County judge declared a mistrial in alleged killer Brandon McInerney's trial, reports the Los Angeles Times.

After 17 hours of deliberation, jurors could not agree whether to convict now 17-year-old McInerney and deadlocked on a vote of 7 to 5 in favor of voluntary manslaughter. When a case becomes impracticable or impossible to finish a case, a mistrial is granted. Upon hearing the news, McInerney's mother sobbed into her hands while King's parents stormed from the courtroom before the judge could finish.

Brandon McInerney Trial for Murder of Lawrence King Begins

In the trial for the killing of gay teen Lawrence King, 15, by classmate now 17-year-old Brandon McInerney, prosecutors are telling the jury the shooting was carefully planned. King was bullied by McInerney and others, and had on-going hostilities with the defendant that ended when McInerney allegedly pulled a gun from his backpack and shot King in the head in 2008.

Brandon McInerney is being tried as an adult for the killing.

Graffiti at Calabasas High School Prompts Hate Crime Investigation

Calabasas High School maintenance workers found Nazi swastikas, words and symbols related to anti-Semitism, as well as teachers names scrawled on the campus grounds this past Saturday morning. This specific incident has sparked outrage and a great deal of sadness, but it also gives people in the Los Angeles community an opportunity to learn more about hate crimes and the violence of intolerance that all too often occurs.

The Los Angeles Times reported that sheriff’s deputies found that the graffiti in Calabasas was placed on doors, walls, sidewalks and a stop sign at the high school. Calabasas High School has since repaired the damage to the school grounds and is working with the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Department to investigate the incident as felony vandalism and a hate crime. So far, the department has not reported any arrests.

Graffiti at Los Angeles Churchs Prompts Hate Crime Investigation

Authorities have seen graffiti and vandalism at two Rowland Heights churches. KTLA News reports that these vandalism acts have prompted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to investigate these incidents as hate crimes.

Offensive words, phrases and symbols were scribbled in a Jehovah’s Witness church at 19111 Killian Avenue on Saturday and also at another church located in the 28000 block of Highridge Road in Rolling Hills Estates.

Nicholas Klopp Arrested For Hate Crime in Ventura

Nicholas Klopp, a 26-year-old resident of Ventura, was arrested after allegedly making a derogatory remark about a man's sexual orientation and then throwing a drinking glass him at Osabi Restaurant. The Ventura County Star reports that the victim was treated for a head wound at Community Memorial Hospital after the alleged attack while Nicholas Klopp was booked at the Ventura County Jail on $30,000 bail.

The suspect in Ventura now faces charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor hate crime. If Nicholas Klopp is formally charged with these crimes, he will likely need a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney for representation and defense during court proceedings.

Jimmy Alfred Walker Charged With Hate Crime

A Barstow police officer that allegedly assaulted a 32-year-old man and 31-year-old woman in Hesperia last August has been charged with one misdemeanor count of violating the man's civil rights, two counts of battery and one count of disturbing the peace. KTLA News reports that the suspect, Jimmy Alfred Walker, is scheduled to appear in a Victorville court on December 13 to respond to the criminal charges.

Jimmy Alfred Walker's charges fall under a hate crime statute. The Victorville man has been accused of using a racial slur at the time of assaulting the two victims. KTLA News did not say what the race of the victims was, but Jimmy Alfred Walker was arrested after the incident by San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies. The suspect was also placed on "off-duty" status by the Barstow Police Department and ordered to stay at home during the hate crime investigation.

San Diego Beating Could Be Investigated As Hate Crime

A gay man that was beaten unconscious in a San Diego alley on Halloween believes that the attack was a hate crime. KTLA News reports that San Diego police officers are still trying to find suspects that are linked to the case.

The victim, Jacob Harshbarger, is openly gay and was reportedly wearing a graphic shirt that clearly identified him as a gay man. He says that he was attacked by at least three men and two women in a white car. The victim said that he clearly remembers being called a "faggot" and a "homo" when being attacked.

Jury Finds the Killing of Cheryl Green to be a Hate Crime

Two members of the 204th Street gang were convicted of first-degree murder in a hate crime trial surrounding the death of a 14-year-old black girl. The Los Angeles Times reported that 14-year-old Cheryl Green was killed in December 2006 while she was hanging out with her friends in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles.

A Los Angeles jury recently found 22-year-old Johnathan Fajardo and 23-year-old Daniel Aguilar guilty of first-degree murder in the case of Cheryl Green's death. The jury also found that the two Latino men killed the girl because she was black. Thus, the two men were found guilty of committing a hate crime.

Student Attacked at CSU Long Beach in Transgender Hate Crime

A transgender graduate student, who claims to be the victim of a recent transgender hate crime at CSU Long Beach, spoke about his experience at a campus rally yesterday. He says that an attacker shoved him into a university bathroom stall and carved the word "it" into his chest.

With such a hateful act, hundreds of people marched for tolerance after hearing Colle Carpenter's hate crime story. CBS News reports that at the victim revealed more information about the crime, which had occurred on April 15. After the incident, the attacker fled the scene and police have so far not been able to arrest anybody in connection with the incident. Anybody who has information about the crime is encouraged to call Det. Leyva at (562) 985-4101.