Anti-Asian hate crime report misreports Santa Clarita incident

The new map provided by L.A. County showing only one Anti-Asian Hate crime in the SCV.
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The 2020 Anti-Asian hate crime report released by L.A. County inaccurately reported an incident in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to officials familiar with the report.  

Released last week, the report stated that anti-Asian hate crime had seen a 76% increase between 2019 and 2020 countywide, with 44 anti-Asian hate crimes being reported in the last calendar year.  

Although two incidents had been reported in the SCV area — according to a map that was included with the report — only one had occurred in 2020, with the other having occurred in 2016, according to Monica Lomeli, the Hate Crime Database manager for the Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services.  

“So unfortunately, I did go back to our (geographical information system) analyst, and he had made an error,” said Lomeli. “It was supposed to be showing only 2020 hate crimes, and the map that we provided for the report displayed hate crimes for the last five years.”  

Presently, the report listed online still shows the 2016-2020 map.  

The incident that had occurred in the Santa Clarita Valley — as previously reported by The Signal — was on Aug. 20, 2020, at a Starbucks on Valencia Boulevard.  

“The victim was targeted for appearing to be Asian and the suspects were two Latino males,” according to Lomeli. “The suspects were upset the victim was not wearing a mask and used derogatory, anti-Asian language along with a verbal threat, that escalated into an assault with a deadly weapon.” 

The new map given to The Signal shows just over 30 anti-Asian hate crimes in L.A. County in 2020. According to Lomeli, the remaining anti-Asian hate crimes were not charted in order to maintain anonymity for the victims’ privacy and residences.  

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