SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The California Attorney General is prioritizing the prevention of hate crimes, having a series of discussions in cities across the state.
Attorney General Rob Bonta is gathering up suggestions and solutions for his office to potentially use moving forward.
“There’s no other way to say it, we’re in a full-on state of crisis, state of emergency when it comes to hate,” Bonta said.
Bonta and community leaders said they’re working to stop hate crimes in the state. On Thursday, he stopped at the Congregation B’Nai Israel in Sacramento — the synagogue at the center of an arson attack in 1999.
“Not just when there is a hate crime, but really to work together in prevention of hate crimes. As was said this morning, once the crime occurs we’ve already failed,” said Rabbi Mona Alfi.
The roundtable comes as California sees an increase in hate crimes. The AG’s office noted last year the state saw a 31% increase. Bonta plans to do 13 total round tables across the state to gather information and ideas on crime prevention.
He said community leaders have so far suggested a trusted process for people to report hate crimes, and they have also emphasized a need for more education on these issues in schools.
“We’re making progress but the challenge is still stark,” Bonta said.
Bonta said Sacramento saw a 50% increase in hate crimes last year. He adds that suggestions and ideas can turn into change in a number of ways, including efforts through his office, state budget requests or proposed laws through the State Legislature.