Ting Introduces New Proposal To Mandate Hate Crime Policies At All California Law Enforcement Agencies

Legislation is in response to rising hate incidents against AAPI Community

For immediate release:
Ting Announces AB 1947 To Mandate Hate Crimes Policies At All CA Law Enforcement Agencies

SAN FRANCISCO – To help address the increased number of hate crimes and incidents targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced AB 1947, which would require all California law enforcement agencies to adopt an updated hate crimes policy. The protocols should include how authorities recognize, report and respond to hate crimes, bringing consistency to responses victims receive and the information being collected.

“Unbelievably, California does not require law enforcement agencies to have a hate crimes policy. As we see the AAPI community facing a major surge in violence and harassment solely based on their race, we must have consistent enforcement of hate crime laws and accurate data collection,” said Ting who also championed a $166 million budget package last year to help stop AAPI hate.

In 2018, the State Auditor found law enforcement in California inadequately identified, reported or responded to hate crimes. The findings further concluded the state’s hate crimes are under-reported by 14% due, in part, to outdated or non-existent policies – all of which contribute to an incomplete picture of hate in our state.

Now is the time to bring uniformity. As COVID-19 spread, necessitating shutdowns and restrictions, frustrations were taken out on members of the AAPI community, which has been wrongly blamed for the pandemic. New numbers from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism show large increases in anti-AAPI hate crimes in major cities across the country last year, including an astonishing 576% in San Francisco and 173% in Los Angeles when compared to 2020 figures. Overall, researchers found hate crimes were up 11%, with African Americans remaining the most targeted community. They also noted a resurgence in anti-Semitic hate crimes.

“As Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the State of Hate, I’ve witnessed the sharp rise in violent hate crimes in our state. The increase in anti-Asian and anti-Semitic hate crimes have been particularly troubling, and it is clear we need to fortify our efforts to combat this trend. I applaud Assemblymember Ting for leading the effort on this bill, and I’m honored to co-author AB 1947,” said Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Los Angeles).

While AB 1947 was inspired by the surge in AAPI hate, the legislation would apply to all races, religions, disabilities, genders, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics. Ting’s bill would:

  • Set a hate crimes policy standard for the Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training (POST), including definitions, responses, reporting responsibilities, training and prevention; POST will have the latitude to add to those standards
  • Require law enforcement agencies in California to implement those POST standards
  • Obligate law enforcement agencies to file their hate crime policies with the Department of Justice, which will then post information about compliance & non-compliance

“Since the start of the pandemic, Asian Americans have been scapegoated, and many live in fear.  Elders, including my parents, avoid leaving their own homes, fearful of being harassed or attacked.  This bill will assist police in recognizing hate crimes when they see them.  Today, too often, they do not," said Charles Jung, Executive Director of California Asian Pacific American Bar Association, a co-sponsor of the bill.

Ting’s AB 1985 from 2019 required agencies that were updating their hate crime policies to adopt the POST standards. AB 1947 builds on that law by mandating that all law enforcement in California adopt them. Hearings on this bill will likely begin in March.