San Diego hate crime numbers climbed higher in 2021
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Hate crimes increased sharply in San Diego and across the country in recent years. And as KPBS, race and equity reporter, Christina Kim reports, early findings show the trend grew even worse in 2021.
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Hate is on the rise in San Diego. And the examples are everywhere. Just last weekend. City of Corona, director of recreation and golf services, Roger Miller and his wife, Sandra Miller were filmed after allegedly hurling. anti-Asian racist slurs towards an Asian American couple while shopping in orange county.
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Yeah. America is afraid. Yeah. Go
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Back to China. Roger Miller is currently on administrative leave, pending an independent investigation by the, the city of Coronado. His wife was fired from her job at a school in Temecula. We
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Know that that's just the tip of the iceberg for how others feel around
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Town. Jason POEO is a Coronado resident and CEO and president of the Asian business association in San Diego. He was disturbed by Miller's behavior and the city's response.
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You know, this doesn't come out of nowhere. It's not out of AVAC that, you know, people must have, have heard his actions and what he had done in the past
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Pogi has lived in San Diego county, his whole life. He says the past few years have changed how he sees the region,
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Not the San Diego. I know. Um, and, and what I grew up in. So it's, uh, really dis disheartening
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In the city of San Diego. The number of hate crimes reported by the San Diego department nearly doubled last year. District attorney summer Stephan says her office prosecuted 30 hate crime cases in 2021 and received around 300 reports of hate incidents. We
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Definitely saw a rise in hate crimes, even as compared with 2020, which was already quite an increase, but we, we saw an even wider increase in 2021 and a race based hate crimes. Top the
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List. This uptick in hate and hate crimes is not just happening locally. Brian LN director of the center for the study of hate and extremism at Cal state San Bernardino says hate crimes in major. Us cities went up full in 2021.
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So nationally, for instance, New York, LA uh, Chicago hit century highs along with some other
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Places. Nationwide race based hate crimes are still primarily directed against black Americans. So
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In most cities anti-black is going to be the highest and anti-black has been the highest nationally, as long as we've been collecting data.
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But over the past few years, hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased. The most, that number went up a whopping 339% nationwide in 2021, Levin says major events and political rhetoric contribute to spikes and hate
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Stereotypes and bigotries that are directed against various groups. Particularly racial groups really get anchored in 2020 anti-Asian with respect to COVID anti-black with respect to, uh, the George Floyd
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Lynching here in San Diego, the DA's office found that 12% of all hate crimes reported to them in 2021 were against Asian Americans. Stephan says, this is likely an under count. And they only capture a snapshot of the impact. Hate has on a community hate
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Crimes, have a ripple effect. They don't just make someone feel unsafe and, and terrorized who is the direct victim. They make everyone in the, that shares the identity. The race of that individual also feel
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Unsafe. That feeling of not being safe is something that POEO has been hearing from local Asian business owners. And it's taking a toll on him too. It's
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Very heavy hearing it. You know, as much as we have in the last couple years
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Here still PA appreciates that the issue is being tracked and hopes. It inspires people to action.
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We need allies across the board, in every community. We need people standing up for us and being in solidarity with our community,
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Christina Kim KPBS news,
Hate is on the rise in San Diego.
From racist and homophobic graffiti scrawled on high school campuses in North County to the violent attack of an elderly Laotian man in Lincoln Park in December, the examples are everywhere.
Most recently, Coronado’s director of recreation and golf services, Roger Miller, and his wife were filmed last weekend hurling anti-Asian racist slurs towards an Asian American couple.
RELATED: Viral video leads to Coronado official placed on leave, wife fired from school job
Miller is currently on administrative leave pending an independent investigation by the city of Coronado. His wife was fired from her job at a school in Temecula.
“We know that that's just the tip of the iceberg for how others feel around town,” said Jason Paguio, a Coronado resident and president of the Asian Business Association in San Diego. He was disturbed by Miller’s behavior and the city’s response.
“It was really disappointing hearing that somebody had been employed that long,” he said. “People must have heard his actions and what he had done in the past.”
Paguio has lived in San Diego County his whole life, but said the past few years have changed how he sees the region.
“It's not the San Diego I know and what I grew up in,” he said.
Locally there has been a disturbing increase in hate crimes.
The number of reported hate crimes nearly doubled in 2021, according to San Diego Police Department data.
“We definitely saw a rise in hate crimes, even as compared with 2020, which was already quite an increase, but we saw an even wider increase in 2021 and race-based hate crimes topped the list,” said San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan.
“We definitely saw a rise in hate crimes, even as compared with 2020, which was already quite an increase, but we saw an even wider increase in 2021 and race-based hate crimes topped the list."San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan
Her office prosecuted 30 hate crime cases in 2021 and received around 300 reports of hate incidents, but Stephan believes these numbers are only a sliver of the actual total.
“All hate crime statistics are an undercount because hate crimes are one of the most underreported crimes,” she said. “There is a lot of shame and there is a lot of misunderstanding of what it takes to make a hate crime.”
A hate crime is a crime committed against someone because of their perceived or real race, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. It does not include name calling or insults, which are hate incidents.
In San Diego, anti-Black hate crimes continue to make up the largest number of reported hate crimes, with anti-Asian crimes seeing the steepest increase.
There were zero anti-Asian hate crime reports in 2017 through 2019 in San Diego County. In 2021, Anti-Asian hate crimes made up 12% of all the hate crimes prosecuted by the DA’s office.
RELATED: San Diego's Spike In Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Mirrors National Trend
San Diego’s hate crimes numbers reflect nationwide trends.
A new study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State San Bernardino shows a 46% increase in hate crimes across the nation’s largest cities in 2021.
“New York, L.A. and Chicago hit century highs,” said Brian Levin, author of the study and director of the center.
Nationwide, race-based hate crimes are still primarily directed against Black Americans, but over the past few years, hate crimes against Asian Americans increased the most. The number of anti-Asian hate crimes increased 339% in the country’s largest metro areas in 2021.
The increase in reported hate crimes is partly because cities have created more streamlined ways to report hate, Levin said.
“But the bottom line is when you’re seeing these kinds of increases across the best reporting agencies, that is a scary proposition,” he said.
“Stereotypes and bigotry that are directed against various groups, particularly racial groups, really get anchored in 2020. Anti-Asian with respect to COVID-19 and anti-Black with respect to the George Floyd lynching and the social justice protests.”Brian Levin, Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State San Bernardino
Levin also sees a direct correlation between hate crimes and the way political rhetoric frames major events, such as former President Donald Trump’s use of “kung flu” to describe COVID-19. Looking at the data across years, Levin believes that 2020 was a significant turning point.
“Stereotypes and bigotry that are directed against various groups, particularly racial groups, really get anchored in 2020,” he said. “Anti-Asian with respect to COVID-19 and anti-Black with respect to the George Floyd lynching and the social justice protests.”
The steady increase in the number of hate incidents and hate crimes across the country is taking a toll on entire communities, including in San Diego.
“Hate crimes have a ripple effect. They don’t just make someone feel unsafe and terrorized,” said Stephan. “They make everyone that shares the identity, the race, of that individual also feel unsafe.”
Paguio, the head of the Asian Business Association, said he regularly hears about local business owners and employees being afraid after hate-driven incidents take place.
One in 10 Asian-owned businesses reported experiencing a form of discrimination throughout the pandemic, according to a survey conducted by ABASD.
“We need allies across the board in every community,” he said. “We need people standing up for us and being in solidarity with our communities.”