After two years of decreases, the murder rate in California rose from 4.4 to 4.8 per 100,000 in 2015. There were 1,861 homicides in a year. This number represents a 9.7 percent increase from the 1,697 homicides in 2014. This still is a 25.1 percent decrease from 2,483 reported in 2006, according to a Department of Justice 2015 Homicide report.
In 2015, 14 individuals were sentenced to Death Row. Thirteen were males, and one was female. Eight were Hispanics, three Blacks, one White, and two were categorized as other. According to the report, “One was under the age of 20 at the time of arrest; two were over 40. The majority (85.7 percent) were sentenced from Southern California counties with over half (eight) coming from Riverside County.”
Among California’s 35 counties with populations of 100,000 or more, Monterey County experienced the highest murder rate (13.8 per 100,000) in 2015. The lowest rate (1.1 per 100,000) was recorded by Imperial, Placer and San Luis Obispo, the report revealed.
The majority of murder victims were Hispanic males, age 18-29-years old. A large number of male victims (46 percent) were killed on the street or sidewalk. Over half (51.7 percent) of the females were killed in their residences.
The largest percentages of accused murderers were Hispanic. More than 89 percent of arrestees were male, and 10.8 percent were female. Nearly 48 percent were Hispanics, 26.1 percent were Black, 20.8 percent were White, and 5.6 percent were categorized as other. Of those arrested, 53.4 percent of homicide arrestees were aged 18-29, 21.8 percent were aged 30-39, 18.8 percent were 40 years-of-age or older, and 6.1 percent were under the age of 18.
In another Department of Justice report, the 2015 Hate Crime report found race/ethnicity/national origin bias accounted for 51.1 percent of all hate crimes. Anti-Black bias motivation continues to be the most common hate crime, accounting for 31.9 percent (3,443) of all hate crime events since 2006 (10,784).
Sexual orientation biases crimes are the second most common type committed over the past 10 years (2006-2015); they accounted for 22.5 percent of hate crimes reported. Within this category, crimes with an anti-gay and anti-homosexual motivation have consistently been the most common bias sub-types. Together, they account for 87.2 percent (2,081) of all hate crimes since 2006 (2,386).
Hate crimes with a religious bias are the third most common type over the past 10 years (2006-2015), according to this report. These numbers decreased 35.9 percent from 1,306 in 2006 to 837 in 2015.
“The religious bias type accounted for 22.7 percent of all hate crimes reported in 2015. Within this category, hate crimes with an anti-Jewish motivation continue to be the most common, accounting for 11.2 percent (1,205) of all hate events reported since 2006 (10,784),” the report revealed.
Finally, the 2015 homicide report shows the total number of reported citizens’ complaints against peace officers decreased from 15,693 in 2014 to 14,402 in 2015; it’s the lowest since 1988. However, the total number of law enforcement officers assaulted in the line of duty increased from 8,998 in 2014 to 9,924 in 2015.