September 28, 2021 22:25

‘Racial Justice Bureau’ for Hate Crimes and Police Bias Launched in CA

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has announced plans create a racial justice bureau to combat white supremacy and biased policing as well as to explore the possibility of reparations for slavery, reports the Los Angeles Times. The new bureau will focus on four elements: taking on white supremacy and hate organizations; examining implicit and explicit bias in policing; reviewing best practices and issuing guidelines for law enforcement; and creating a task force to study reparations for Black residents. Bonta, who believes that hate crimes are vastly undercounted because many people do not report them, also promised to host a virtual gathering of California big city mayors to highlight regional issues involving hate crimes. Pete Simi, an associate professor of sociology at Chapman University who has studied extremist groups and violence for more than 20 years, said launching the bureau is “a good sign,” and that “Logistically, California is a huge place, and you have many, many cities to deal with and to coordinate with. Even if there’s a concern with reporting or underreporting of hate crimes, the state can only do so much because that problem is localized — it’s based on trust between the community and the police. If people don’t feel their victimization will be taken seriously, they will not come forward.”

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