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Deputy District Attorney: Latino Hate Crimes on the Rise

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Aired 4/19/09

A San Diego Deputy District Attorney says he's seen a rise in hate crimes against Latinos in San Diego County during the last six months. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Oscar Garcia specializes in hate crime prosecutions for the District Attorney's office. He says he noticed the spike starting last August. He says the cases run the gamut from racial slurs to beatings. Garcia says there's also a wide variety of aggressors.

Garcia: From the hard core white supremacists versus just the persons who, perhaps because of the current climate out there and debate, it seems to draw them out and they appear to feel that they have some license to go out and commit these types of crimes.

The California Attorney General's pans to publish statistics on hate crimes statewide for 2006 in June. That office's 2005 report shows hate crimes against Latinos jumped six-point-five percent compared to the previous year, though numbers stayed about the same in San Diego. Garcia says he would not be surprised to see that number rise this year. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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