Why have hate crimes increased fivefold in Sacramento since 2017? - report

23 hate-related incidents were reported to Sacramento police in 2017, while 126 incidents were reported in just the first nine months of 2021.

The Sacramento skyline, as seen from The Ziggurat in West Sacramento, California. (photo credit: J.SMITH/CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The Sacramento skyline, as seen from The Ziggurat in West Sacramento, California.
(photo credit: J.SMITH/CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Hate-related incidents in Sacramento, California, have more than doubled from 2020 to 2021 and have increased over fivefold between 2017 and 2021, KCRA 3 reported on Friday based on an analysis of Sacramento Police Department data by the news channel.

According to the report, 23 bias, or hate-related incidents were reported to Sacramento police in 2017, while 57 incidents were reported in 2020. Furthermore, 126 incidents were reported in the first nine months of 2021.

Out of 118 of 126 reports in 2021, only eight arrests were made and one warrant was issued, KCRA cited information obtained via a public records request as saying.

The California state capitol in Sacramento (credit: WIKIMEDIA)The California state capitol in Sacramento (credit: WIKIMEDIA)

What is the cause of the increase in bias crimes?

"We’ve been in tough times and there have been a rise in hate crimes. That’s not a surprise."

Former Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn

When KCRA asked Lt. Joe Bailey of the Sacramento Police Bias Crime Task Force why there had been such a significant increase in the number of reports, he said, "The uptick from 2017 to now is partly because we changed our policy and how we document these incidents, however, the public and society realize how personal this crime is and how important it is, and we're seeing a lot more victims come forward and tell their stories."

Former Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said that the increase was due to deep-rooted societal issues that have been widely ignored, noting that hate group membership generally rises during difficult times.

"We’ve been in tough times and there have been a rise in hate crimes," he told KCRA. "That’s not a surprise."