The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO- Hate crimes in California dropped to their lowest level in a decade last year, the state justice department said Wednesday.
The downward trend of recent years was broken by a temporary spike in hate crimes against Muslims after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but the rate has declined since. The numbers mirror the general decline in violent crimes.
Reported hate crimes declined 4.5 percent in 2005 from the previous year, to 1,691. Race, ethnicity or national origin remained the top motivation, followed by sexual orientation and religion.
While the overall rate declined, increases were reported for hate crimes against Hispanics (from 138 in 2004 to 147 last year); whites (from 61 to 77); and against multiple races (from 45 in 2004 to 61).
Prosecutors throughout the state filed 330 hate crime charges last year, with 137 convictions. Los Angeles County had the most, with 117 charges for hate crimes.
On the Net:
Read "Hate Crime in California: 2005" at http://ag.ca.gov/cjsc/publications/hatecrimes/hc05/preface05.pdf
See guides to reporting hate crimes at http://ag.ca.gov/immigrant/publications.htm