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West Hollywood News

WeHo Declares Hate Crimes Are Violent
Posted by Kyle Maloney on Apr 10, 2013 - 8:15:28 PM

WEST HOLLYWOOD—At a meeting on Monday, April 8, the West Hollywood Public Safety Commission heard spokesman, Marshall Wong, talked about the hate crimes in West Hollywood being nearly exclusively violent.  

Wong is the Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. “Wherever you find a cluster of business catering to the LGBT community, you’ll find a cluster of hate crimes as well,” said Wong about the issue. 

Marshall Wong at Monday's WeHo Public Safety Commission meeting. Photo courtesy of David Fonseca.
Wong presented data that showed 70 percent of reported hate crimes in West Hollywood during 2011 were committed on the basis of sexual orientation. Of those, 81 percent were violent.

Compiled data from the county revealed that 71 percent of hate crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation are violent, and according to Wong, that is an excessively high number when compared to hate crimes committed on the basis of race or religion.  

“Because hate crimes are so overwhelmingly sexual-orientation based in West Hollywood, you have extremely high rates of violence,” Wong explained. “Eighty-one percent of all hate crimes reported in 2011 were violent in nature.”

In the meeting, Wong exhibited a map that illustrated how a majority of the crimes were located near and around Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevard. He also pointed out how other crimes occurred in residential areas, explaining that these hate crimes are not always spontaneous but sometimes premeditated.  

Wong said, “Most people think of hate crimes as spontaneous gay bashing that happen when people are leaving clubs or bars or something like that, but almost an equal number occur where people live.”

Although Wong presented a series of bleak statistics at the meeting, he did explain that the number of hate crimes in West Hollywood was on the decline, and he made sure to compliment the city’s response to these crimes when they happen.

“West Hollywood has been a shining model on how to prevent hate crimes, provide comfort to victims and aggressively pursue perpetrators,” said Wong.



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