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California Attorney General Discusses Hate Crimes with Riverside City Officials

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Office of Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson
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Philip Falcone
Riverside Mayor Patricia speaking at a press conference at Riverside City Hall.

Riverside’s Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson, California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta, and other local leaders met yesterday for a roundtable discussion on hate crime in California.

The visit was Bonta’s fifth stop in his tour of the thirteen most populated cities in the state. Bonta said, “In California and throughout this nation, there’s no room for hate. Not here, not anywhere, not now, not ever, and we need to take steps and take action to make that real.”

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Office of Patricia Lock Dawson
Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson speaking with California Attorney General during a roundtable discussion at Riverside City Hall.

He said data showed a 107% increase in Asian Pacific Islander hate crimes in 2020 and a 30% overall increase in California. He added, “We are working with our local law enforcement partners throughout the State of California to help ensure that they are using best practices and have the support in recourses to identify and investigate hate crimes.”

Bonta added that Riverside had minimal cases in 2020, with only 14 or 15 reported. “I really appreciated hearing from our leaders here in Riverside about their approach and focusing on prevention and proactive steps to avoid hate incidents from happening in the first place.”

Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said that even though such hate incidents are not common in Riverside, the city is not immune and that the statewide reality should not be ignored here at home. She said, "Riverside needs to play its part in addressing this statewide increase by being a resource to other cities and our state partners.”

Other participants in the event included Malek Bendelhoum, the Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, and Cal State San Bernardino Professor Steven Merrell.