Fewer people in Orange County were victims of hate crime last year. That’s according to the hate crime report compiled each year by the county’s Human Relations Commission.
Rusty Kennedy is the executive director of the commission and says the number of hate crimes has fallen to nearly half of what it was in 2006. "Even though hate crime is down overall, it’s down against all groups except one; the African-American community has a slight increase," Kennedy said. "Albeit one of the smallest groups in Orange County, they are the most frequently targeted victims of reported hate crime."
The commission also recorded “hate incidents” when an act isn’t illegal but it has the same motivation as a hate crime. Last year, the majority of hate incidents in Orange County targeted Muslim college students.
Kennedy cautions the hate crimes report is only a snapshot. He says immigrants and people in the gay and lesbian community tend to under-report hate crimes.