From the Office of the District Attorney:
Martinez, Calif. — In Contra Costa County, hate crime incidents are relatively low compared to the most recent data from the Attorney General — which shows hate crimes increasing in California.
Attorney General Rob Bonta released the report “2021 Hate Crime in California” on Tuesday.
The report shows that there’s been a 32.6% increase in hate crimes in the state between 2020-2021. Those who are targeted by hate crimes the most are Black, Asian, and LGBTQ people.
In Contra Costa County, there were a total of 14 hate crimes referred to the District Attorney’s Office in 2021. Of those, four were filed and prosecutors got convictions in all four cases.
District Attorney Diana Becton noted: “Cultural sensitivity is paramount in building trust to
ensure that hate crimes are reported and prosecuted effectively. The Contra Costa District
Attorney’s Office continually engages with law enforcement agencies to train officers on
technical aspects of hate crime prosecutions and the delicate nature of hate crime investigations. That kind of awareness by police officers and prosecutors can decrease some emotional barriers among victims when they report a hate crime or a hate incident.”
Local resources are available to aid hate crime victims. The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office established a Hate Crimes Committee in September 2019 to review referrals from police agencies for prosecution. Also, the DA’s Office has a Victim Witness Assistance Program to help those who are navigating through the legal process.
However, if you’re a victim of crime, DA Becton advises to “call 911 to report it. Make note of things that can be used as evidence and try and get the names and contact information of eyewitnesses. The more evidence law enforcement has, the better the chances of getting a conviction.”
The public can also access resources about hate crimes, hate incidents, and how to protect themselves by going to the Attorney General’s website.
The complete hate crime report can be found here.