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Hate Crimes

It is the right of every person regardless of race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. All reported cases of hate crimes will be fully investigated by the Sheriff's Department.

What is a hate crime?

A hate crime (California Penal Code § 422.55) is a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim:

  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics

Criminal acts include, but are not limited to:

  • Graffiti or vandalism
  • Physical violence against another person(s)
  • Criminal threats of violence against an individual or group

A hate incident is behavior that is motivated by hate or bias towards a person’s actual or perceived disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation but that is not criminal in nature. Typically these behaviors are protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. If this type of activity escalates to threats being made or carried out against a person or property, or becomes an incitement to commit violence it would be classified as a hate crime. Examples include: 

  • Distribution of non-threatening racist flyers in a public place
  • Displaying non-threatening anti-LGBTQ placards at a parade or funeral
  • Racial slurs or other derogatory terminology
  • Writing a letter to the editor ridiculing people with disabilities
  • Displaying hate material on private property

What should I do if I am victimized?

  • In an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, call OC Sheriff dispatch at (714) 647-7000 or (949) 770-6011 to make a report. 
  • Obtain medical attention, if needed. Be sure to keep all medical documentation.
  • Leave all evidence in place. Do not touch, remove or clean up anything. 
  • Document what happened. Take photographs of the evidence, writing down exactly what was said, particularly any words that indicate bias motivation, and other information that may be valuable.
  • Get the name(s), address(es) and phone number(s) of other victims and witnesses.
  • If possible, write down a description of the perpetrator and the perpetrator’s vehicle.
  • Visit 2-1-1 Orange County's website for resources available to victims of hate activity.

Reporting hate activity

Orange County residents are encouraged to report hate crimes and incidents. Data related to hate activity in Orange County helps law enforcement to identify trends and develop strategies to prevent and address future incidents. 

Hate activity may be reported anonymously to 2-1-1 Orange County at

Reported Hate Crimes in OC Sheriff's Jurisdiction

The data below represents reported hate crimes in the Sheriff's Department's patrol areas and custody facilities only. 

January-June 2024

Total # of Incidents:     6

Types of Crime:

  • Crimes against persons:    2
  • Crimes against property:    4
  • Crimes against society:    0

Bias Motivation Categories:

  • Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry:   4
  • Religion:   1
  • Sexual Orientation:   2
  • Disability:   0
  • Gender:   0
  • Gender Identity:   2

Note: An incident may involve multiple crimes and have multiple bias motivations.