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  • Counter protesters hold placards near a planned Klu Klux Klan rally in Anaheim, California.

    Counter protesters hold placards near a planned Klu Klux Klan rally in Anaheim, California. | Photo: Reuters

Hate crimes had been in decline but 2015 saw an increase for the first time in seven years.

A report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations indicated a 69 percent increase in hate crimes toward Latinos in the city, LA Weekly reported Thursday.

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Overall, hate crimes increased 24 percent “across the board” in 2015, marking a break a with what had been a seven-year decline.

“We are extremely concerned that reported hate crimes increased dramatically in 2015,” Robin Toma, executive director of the commission, told LA Weekly.

“The disturbing rise in bias-motivated crime indicates that, despite the gains made by historically marginalized communities, bigoted attacks are still a daily occurrence, and that is unacceptable.”

The report did not mention U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump but his heated and racist rhetoric toward Latinos is widely suspected of feeding into a climate that legitimizes white supremacy.

Trump has called for mass deportations and for a wall to be built on the U.S.-Mexico border in order to purportedly curb irregular migration.

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The commission reported that there were 34 crimes where anti-immigrant language was used. 74 percent of the crimes were violent.

The largest number of hate crimes targeted Black people who, according to the report, were “grossly over-represented.” Of the 241 reported racial hate crimes, 58 percent were directed against Black people, who only make up 8.3 percent of Los Angeles county residents.

Hate crimes targeting gay men and transgender women also saw an increase in 2015 over 2014. Transgender women saw the highest rate of hate-crime violence last year.

The uptick in hate crimes against Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent coincided with attacks in Paris and San Bernardino by extremists claiming to act in the name of Islam.

The report specified that the numbers do not tell a complete story as the vast majority of hate crimes go unreported or are not classified as hate crimes.

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