Attorney General Bonta, Local Leaders Discuss Combating Hate Crimes and Incidents in Fresno

Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

FRESNO – As part of a statewide effort to address hate, California Attorney General Rob Bonta today was joined by Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and local leaders for an anti-hate roundtable discussion. The roundtable in Fresno is the 12th in a series of meetings led by Attorney General Bonta across the state to bring together local elected officials, law enforcement officers, and community leaders to discuss best practices in addressing hate crime. The roundtables are broadly aimed at developing strategies to address bias and hate, increasing awareness around available resources for members of the public, and strengthening responses to hate crimes and incidents in California.

“In California, we must stand united against hate and extremism. There is no place for hate in California,” said Attorney General  Bonta. “I’m proud to stand with our local partners to identify best practices, foster community involvement, and work toward community-driven solutions to eliminate hate and extremism. I want to thank Mayor Dyer and local leaders in Fresno for their partnership and commitment to combating the rise of hate; fostering holistic, community-based responses; and providing resources where they are most needed. Our message to Californians: We see you, we support you, and we will do our part to ensure that every Californian feels safe in their cities and communities."

“When it comes to hate crime, I feel Fresno is currently in a good place," said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer. "That said, it is not zero, and as this is a zero-tolerance issue, we must remain vigilant and continually work to address the issue. Hate crime is unacceptable. Period.”

In 2022, there was a 20.2% increase in reported hate crime events in California. Although not captured in statewide hate crime statistics, it’s also important to remember that hate incidents — acts that do not rise to the level of a crime — are also incredibly harmful and can leave lasting, negative impacts on all of our communities. The critical discussion held today focused on developing community-based solutions to protect residents and communities from harm.

Attorney General Bonta has issued a series of reports, guidance, and resources to help the public and law enforcement better understand and address hate crimes in California. Given the ongoing challenge presented by hate crime, the Attorney General urges leaders across the state and members of the public to review and make use of these important resources, which include an updated law enforcement bulletin summarizing applicable civil and criminal hate crime laws, guidance to prosecutors to help strengthen prosecution and enforcement, and brochures and fact sheets in more than two dozen languages to assist Californians in identifying and responding to hate crime events. In 2021, Attorney General Bonta also released a special report on anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic, which offers important context and analysis regarding the recent increases in anti-Asian hate crime events.

In May 2021, Attorney General Bonta launched the Racial Justice Bureau, which, among other things, supports the California Department of Justice’s broader mandate to advance the civil rights of all Californians by assisting with new and ongoing efforts to combat hate and bias. In 2021 and 2022, the Attorney General began proactively engaging with local city leaders in the biggest cities in California through roundtables in San FranciscoOaklandSacramentoSan DiegoRiversideLong BeachSanta AnaSan JoseStocktonAnaheim, and Bakersfield

More broadly, the Attorney General is deeply committed to responding to the needs of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities and, in July 2021, also launched the Office of Community Awareness, Response, and Engagement to work directly with community organizations and members of the public as part of the effort to advance justice for all Californians.

Members of the public can further explore hate crime data on OpenJustice.
If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of a hate crime, notify local law enforcement and consider taking the following steps: 

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911, and if needed, seek medical attention.
  • Write down the exact words that were used and take note of any other relevant facts.
  • If safe to do so, save all evidence and take photos.
  • Get contact information for other victims and witnesses.
  • Reach out to community organizations in your area that deal with hate crimes or incidents.

Reports of hate incidents can also be made to the California Civil Rights Department CA v. Hate hotline and online portal at any time in 15 languages or by calling (833) 866-4283 or (833) 8-NO-HATE, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and talking to a trained civil rights agent in over 200 languages. Outside of those hours, people can leave a voicemail or call 211 to report a hate incident and seek support from a professional trained in culturally competent communication and trauma-informed practices.

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