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Assemblymembers Muratsuchi and Chiu’s bill to establish a toll-free California hate crimes hotline passes Assembly Public Safety Committee with bipartisan support

Bill introduced in response to recent spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

For immediate release:

Torrance, CA – Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) and David Chiu’s (D-San Francisco) AB 557, a bill that will require the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) to establish a toll-free hotline as well as an online reporting system to report hate crimes and hate incidents, passed the Assembly Committee on Public Safety 8-0 with bipartisan support.  The bill was introduced in response to the spike in hate crimes, particularly against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Hate crimes are crimes against an entire community, not just an individual victim,” stated Assemblymember Muratsuchi.  “According to the nonprofit initiative, almost 3,800 hate incidents have been reported across the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  Moreover, the U.S. Department of Justice estimates over half of all hate crimes are never reported.  A toll-free hate crimes hotline, along with an online reporting system, will allow victims and witnesses to report a hate incident against any group in a safe, anonymous manner, particularly those who may face language or cultural barriers or are undocumented.  As a statewide law enforcement agency, the California DOJ should be the central clearinghouse of such reports to coordinate with local law enforcement and to provide support for victims.”


"Over the course of this pandemic, we have seen a skyrocketing increase in hate incidents targeting our API communities," said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). "We cannot stand idly by and allow this to continue. Having a centralized, statewide approach to track hate crimes and assist victims will make all of our diverse California communities safer."


The bill is coauthored by California Attorney General-nominee Rob Bonta and has received a broad range of support including bill sponsor Anti-Defamation League, Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs, Equality California, Japanese American Citizens League, and Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis.


Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi represents California’s 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson.  Muratsuchi is the Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies and the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace.  He is a member of the Assembly Committees on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials; Natural Resources; Utilities and Energy; Veterans Affairs; and Water, Parks and Wildlife.


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