FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – According to California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office, hate crimes jumped over 20% statewide from 2021 to 2022.
“Racially biased events increased by 11%. Religiously biased events increased by 39% and hate crime events involving sexual orientation increased by 29%,” said Bonta.
In response, Bonta visited Fresno to hold an anti-hate roundtable discussion, alongside Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.
The goal was to collect resident input, to put towards potential new action from the state and city to better address hate.
While the state’s statistics detail a meteoric rise of hate crimes throughout the state, through that same timeframe in the City of Fresno, hate crimes fell from 9 in 2021 to 8 in 2022.
There have been 9 reported so far in 2023, but that could be well short of the actual number.
“Hate incidents and hate crimes (are) oftentimes under-reported. To the degree that it’s difficult in law enforcement to have a true measurement of the impact that that has on the community,” said Dyer.
According to over 300 surveys collected by The Fresno Center, 41% of those people stated they were victims of a hate crime or hate incident.
“Whether you know it’s a hate crime, hate incident, robbery, or whatever, report it. So at least the police will have that data,” said Cyndee Lonyang, with The Fresno Center, which held the roundtable at its location on Kings Canyon Road.
One recent hate crime reported in May, was at Fresno’s Tasty Thai, forced to close after false claims surfaced online that the business had cooked and served dog meat at its restaurant.
Tasty Thai’s owner appeared at the roundtable in the audience and said he wants more resources for immigrants like his parents to report hate crimes.
“What if something worse happened because they didn’t feel secure enough to say something or report it. So that’s all I’m asking. For immigrants like my parents, to have some type of resource,” said David Rasavong, former owner of Tasty Thai.
There were nearly two hours of discussion at the roundtable.
It included everything from incidents to potential solutions.
Bonta and Dyer say they will review everything.