Anti-Arab hate crimes drop from 9-11 level

By Don Thompson The Associated Press
Thursday December 13, 2001

SACRAMENTO — The number of anti-Arab hate crimes in California has dropped to about one a day from the nearly 10 a day reported immediately after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the state attorney general said Tuesday. 

Incidents reported by six major law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose and Sacramento dropped from 182 in September to 60 in October and 17 in November. 

An additional 10 police agencies added to the survey reported 11 crimes in October and four in November. 

Attorney General Bill Lockyer called the decline “encouraging,” but said even the smaller numbers show police and community groups need to continue their efforts to protect innocent people who appear to be of Middle Eastern descent. 

The six major jurisdictions initially reported 236 crimes targeting Arab-Americans, Muslims, Afghan-Americans, Sikhs, Asians and others mistaken for Arabs or Muslims between Sept. 11 and the end of September – more than 12 a day. 

However, those initial figures were reduced once police sorted out actual crimes from other incidents that didn’t rise to that level, said Lockyer spokeswoman Sandra Michioku. 

Also Tuesday, Lockyer announced the creation of a California Community Relations Service to help mediate resolutions to community conflicts relating to race, color or national origin. 

Michioku said the service may help resolve anti-Arab conflicts in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 

The service will help at the request of local governments or community leaders, or when there is evidence of community unrest. The California service is patterned on a similar federal version created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.