LAPD Announces ‘Hate Incident’ as New Category for Online Community Reporting

LAPD Announces ‘Hate Incident’ as New Category for Online Community Reporting

Social activists gather for a demonstration at City Hall in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 27, 2021. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

1/13/2024

Updated: 1/16/2024

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Police Department expanded its Community Online Reporting Service (CORS) system Jan. 12 to include the category of “hate incidents” in an effort to combat what officials called the “under-reporting of bias-motivated incidents” that fall short of being considered crimes.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced the expansion to the CORS program at a news conference at police headquarters on Thursday morning.
The CORS system was launched in 2016, and allowed community members to file reports on incidents such as traffic collisions and a limited category of crime reports online, Mr. Moore said.
During the year of its launch,1,300 reports were submitted through CORS, Mr. Moore said. Since then, CORS has expanded to include nearly two dozen types of reports that community members can file online.
In 2023, community members submitted more than 131,000 such reports online, Mr. Moore said.
On Jan. 1, an addition to the CORS system took effect, and now, community members have the option of filing reports of “hate incidents” online, Mr. Moore said.
Mr. Moore noted that the type of incident would be an action “not amounting to a crime” in which a person in the community is targeted in a way that could include an epithet or a gesture related to a victim’s sexual orientation, race, religion or ethnicity.
“It is a matter that we want to know about,” Mr. Moore said. “The challenge is, that with the lengthening response time, that people attempting to report a non-crime—but a significant matter that concerns them, creates fear and apprehension in those communities—[it] was taking, at times, hours for us to reach [them] because of the limited resources, because of more pressing matters, meaning crimes of violence that were in progress, or various crimes that had just occurred.”
To file a report or to see a list of the types of reports that can be filed through CORS, go to www.lapdonline.org/file-a-police-report/
Authorities stressed that if a crime is in progress, people should call 911.
According to the LAPD, the type of “hate incident” that would be appropriate to report under the expanded online program would be defined as follows:
“Hate Incident: A hate incident is any non-criminal act, including words, directed against a person(s) based on that person’s actual or perceived protected characteristics. Hate incidents do not violate criminal law statutes. Hate incidents are generally protected free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
The following types of police reports had been previously included in the online reporting program:
  • Harassing Phone Calls: Any person who repeatedly, with the intent to annoy, telephones or makes contact by means of an electronic communication. For example, immediate hang-ups, obscene language, emails, text messages with no known suspects.
  • Lost Property: Personal property that was unintentionally left by its true owner. For example, property left behind at an unknown location or left behind with no attempt to retrieve it.
  • Vandalism: Any person who maliciously damages, destroys or defaces the property of another person. For example, knocking over a mailbox, spray-painting a wall, or throwing a rock through a window.
  • Theft: Personal property taken from a publicly accessible location. For example, a package is taken from your porch; or, you left your wallet behind in a restaurant, but when you attempted to go back to retrieve it, the wallet was no longer there.
  • Theft from Vehicle: Theft from an unlocked or locked vehicle.
  • Minor Traffic Collisions: Minor injuries and you have exchanged information.
  • Hit and Run: Damage caused by another vehicle in which the driver should have left information or fled the scene without stopping to provide information.
  • Vice Tips: Tips may be reported, and filer may remain anonymous.
  • Narcotics Tips: Tips may be reported, and the filer may remain anonymous.
  • Identity Theft.
The incidents must meet the following criteria in order to report them online:
  • The incident is not an emergency.
  • The incident occurred within the city of Los Angeles.
  • The person filing must be at least 18 years old.
  • No one was injured as a result of this incident.
  • There are no known suspects.
  • The incident did not occur on the state highway.
  • No firearms were involved in the incident.
  • The person filing must have internet access and an email address.
Once a report has been submitted report, the filer will immediately receive a temporary report number and be able to print a copy of the report just made.
All incidents reported using the Community Online Reporting Service will be reviewed, on average once every 24 hours—possibly longer on weekends and holidays—and upon approval will become an official police report.
If further investigation of the reported incident is needed, the filer will be contacted by email or telephone.
Once the report has been approved, an LAPD report number will be issued and a copy of the final report will be emailed back to the filer.
The LAPD cautioned people that providing a false police report is a crime.
“Anyone filing a false police report may be prosecuted under California Penal Code section 148.5 PC. Filing a false police report is punishable by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding 6 months, or by fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both,” police said in a statement.
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