Lawmakers pass bill to set standards for hate crime policies
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Legislature has sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that sets minimum standards for local law enforcement agencies updating or adopting hate crime policies.
The bill passed 67-0 Monday would require those agencies to include in their policies that officers work to prevent, respond to and report hate crimes.
The lawmakers’ action comes after state auditors announced California is underreporting hate crimes to the FBI, the Legislature and the public.
An audit released Thursday said local law enforcement agencies lack adequate policies and training. Auditors found agencies they reviewed underreported hate crimes by about 14 percent.
Reported hate crimes in California increased by over 20 percent from 2014 to 2016. Hate crimes are defined as those targeting victims for an element of their identity, such as race or religion.