This Department recognizes and places a high priority on the rights of all individuals guaranteed under the Constitution and the laws of this state. When such rights are infringed upon by violence, threats or other harassment, this Department will utilize all available resources to see that justice is served under the law. This policy has been developed to meet or exceed the provisions of Penal Code § 13519.6(c) and provides members of this Department with guidelines for identifying and investigating incidents and crimes that may be motivated by hatred or other bias.
Hate Crimes Penal Code § 422.55(a) defines a hate crime as either a violation of Penal Code § 422.6 or a criminal act committed in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim:
(d) Race or ethnicity
(f) Sexual orientation
(g) Association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics
Penal Code § 422 Prohibits verbal, written or electronically transmitted threats to commit great bodily injury or death to another or his/her immediate family.
Penal Code § 422.6 (a) Prohibits the use of force or threats of force to willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress, or threaten any person in the free exercise or enjoyment of rights and privileges secured by the Constitution or law because of the person’s real or perceived characteristics listed in Penal Code § 422.55(a). Speech alone does not constitute a violation of this section except when the speech itself threatened violence and the defendant had the apparent ability to carry out the threat.
Penal Code § 422.6(b) Prohibits knowingly defacing, damaging or destroying the real or personal property of any person for any of the purposes set forth in Penal Code § 422.6(a).
Penal Code § 422.7 Provides for other criminal offenses involving threats, violence or property damage in excess of $400 to become felonies if committed for any of the purposes set forth in Penal Code 422.6.
Penal Code § 422.76 Defines gender for purposes of various hate crime statutes to mean the victim’s actual sex or the defendant’s perception of the victim’s sex and includes the defendant’s perception of the victim’s identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the victim’s sex at birth.
Penal Code § 422.9 Provides for the criminal enforcement of any order issued pursuant to Civil Code § 52.1.
Penal Code § 11411 Prohibits terrorizing by placing or displaying any unauthorized sign, mark, symbol, emblem or other physical impression (including Nazi swastika or burning cross) on another person’s private property.
Penal Code § 11412 Prohibits terrorizing threats of injury or property damage to interfere with the exercise of religious beliefs.
Penal Code § 594.3 Prohibits vandalism to religious buildings or places of worship.
Penal Code § 11413 Prohibits use of explosives or other destructive devices for terrorizing another at health facilities, places of religion, group facilities and other specified locations.
Civil Code § 51.7 Except for statements made during otherwise lawful labor picketing, all persons in this state have the right to be free from any violence or intimidation by threat of violence against their person or property because of actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or position in a labor dispute.
Civil Code § 52 Provides for civil suit by individual, Attorney General, District Attorney or General Counsel for violation of Civil Code § 51.7, including damages, Temporary Restraining Order and injunctive relief.
Civil Code § 52.1 Provides for Temporary Restraining Order and injunctions for violations of individual and Constitutional rights enforceable as criminal conduct under Penal Code § 422.9.
While it is recognized that not all crime can be prevented, this Department is committed to taking a proactive approach to preventing and preparing for likely hate crimes by among other things:
a) Officers should make an affirmative effort to establish contact with persons and groups within the community who are likely targets of hate crimes to form and cooperate with prevention and response networks.
(b) Accessing assistance by, among other things, activating the Department of Justice hate crime rapid response protocol when necessary.
(c) Providing victim assistance and followup as outlined below, including community followup.
Whenever any member of this department receives a report of a suspected hate crime or other activity that reasonably appears to involve a potential hate crime, the following should occur:
(a) Officer(s) will be promptly assigned to contact the victim, witness, or reporting party to investigate the matter further as circumstances may dictate.
(b) A supervisor should be notified of the circumstances as soon as practical.
(c) Once "in progress" aspects of any such situation have been stabilized (e.g., treatment of victims, apprehension of present suspects, etc.), the assigned officer(s) will take all reasonable steps to preserve available evidence that may tend to establish that a hate crime was involved.
(d) The assigned officer(s) will interview available witnesses, victims and others to determine what circumstances, if any, indicate that the situation may involve a hate crime. No victim of or a witness to a hate crime who is not otherwise charged with or convicted of a crime under state law may be detained for or turned over to federal authorities exclusively for any actual or suspected immigration violation (Penal Code § 422.93(b)).
(e) Depending on the situation, the assigned officer(s) or supervisor may request additional assistance from detectives or other resources to further the investigation.
(f) The assigned officer(s) will include all available evidence indicating the likelihood of a hate crime in the relevant report(s). All related reports will be clearly marked as "Hate Crimes" and, absent prior approval of a supervisor, will be completed and submitted by the assigned officer(s) before the end of the shift.
(g) The assigned officer(s) will provide the victim(s) of any suspected hate crime with a brochure on hate crimes (Penal Code § 422.92). Such brochures will also be available to members of the general public upon request. The assigned officer(s) should also make reasonable efforts to assist the victim(s) by providing available information on local assistance programs and organizations.
(h) The assigned officer(s) and supervisor should take reasonable steps to ensure that any such situation does not escalate further (e.g., Possible Temporary Restraining Order through the District Attorney or General Counsel Penal Code § 136.2 or Civil Code § 52.1 as indicated).
If a case is assigned to the Investigation’s Division, the assigned detective will be responsible for following up on the reported hate crime as follows:
(a) Coordinate further investigation with the District Attorney and other appropriate law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.
(b) Maintain contact with the victim(s) and other involved individuals as needed.
(c) Maintain statistical data on suspected hate crimes and tracking as indicated and report such data to the Attorney General upon request pursuant to Penal Code § 13023
All members of this Department receive POST approved training on hate crime recognition and investigation as provided by Penal Code § 13519.6.