The number of hate crimes against Latinos in California spiked by about 47 percent last year after a decade of decline, according to a state report released Thursday.
Reports of violence and vandalism motivated by bias remained steady in number last year, but Latinos were victims in more of these crimes. The state attorney general's office recorded 119 anti-Latino crimes in 2010, up from 81 in 2009, although the 2009 number was the lowest in at least a decade.
Anti-black bias remains the top motivation for hate crimes, representing about 29 percent of the more than 1,100 hate crimes reported statewide, but the number of hate crimes against African-Americans has been declining. Also among the most prevalent, but declining, motivations for hate crimes are anti-gay and anti-Jewish bias.
"A crime that is motivated by hate is a crime against all people," Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement.
Violent hate crimes also dropped slightly as bias-related property crimes rose. Fewer were reported at schools and places of worship, but more at restaurants.
San Francisco reported 65 hate crimes, the most in the Bay Area, followed by San Jose at 24. Livermore, Oakland and the UC Berkeley campus reported 15 hate crimes each last year.
The report cautioned that many factors can affect the number of hate crimes reported, including how aggressive local police agencies are in investigating them and the likelihood of people to
Livermore police Chief Steve Sweeney said almost all of the 15 hate crimes reported there stemmed from a group of young people that spray painted slurs on houses.