Ting’s Bill to Improve Hate Crime Reporting Signed by Governor Brown

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Hate crime reporting in California will improve under a law just signed by Governor Brown. AB 1985 from Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) sets minimum standards for hate crime policies adopted by local law enforcement agencies. Because California does not require agencies to have a hate crime policy, how such incidents are handled or reported can vary or be inconsistent throughout the state. This leads to inaccurate data. The new law comes on the heels of last month’s State Audit that found hate crimes are under-reported by 14%  in California due, in part, to outdated policies, if any existed at all.

 “We can’t stop the problem unless we know how big it is,” said Ting. “My bill requires law enforcement to use the same language and follow the same reporting procedures so that we can get an accurate picture of the prevalence of hate crimes in California. We live in a divided America these days, and a policy like this is important now more than ever.”

"This critical legislation will help empower local communities to reduce rates of hate crimes and save lives," said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. "We're grateful to Governor Brown for continuing his 100 percent pro-equality record today and to Assemblymember Ting for authoring the bill and being such a strong champion for the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities."

AB 1985 requires any updated or newly adopted hate crime policy to include a protocol for reporting suspected hate crimes to the Department of Justice and follow the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) framework, which includes:

  • Definitions
  • Responses
  • Reporting responsibilities
  • Training resources
  • Prevention methods 

The California Attorney General found that from 2015 to 2016, hate crimes increased by more than 11%, and violent hate crime offenses increased by nearly 6%. Hate crimes are defined as those targeting victims because of their race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or a disability.

The new law takes effect January 1, 2019.

For media inquiries, please contact Nannette Miranda at 916-319-2019.

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