PALM SPRINGS, CA – California hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bucked a national trend and rose by 25% with the most dramatic shifts taking place in Palm Springs and San Francisco, both cities with significant gay and lesbian populations.
According to California Watch, hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation jumped from three cases in 2009 to 14 in 2010. San Francisco recorded six incidents in 2009 and 24 in 2010.
Rhonda Long, administrative services officer for the Palm Springs Police Department, said she could not explain the uptick in cases without looking at them individually. Long said the department was taking steps to prevent hate crimes in the community.
The Palm Springs Police Department said it has been rebuilding its image within the gay community since a 2009 scandal.
Palm Springs Police Chief David Dominguez retired in January after he was accused of and admitted to making insensitive comments during a sex sting operation in 2009 targeting gay men who officers believed were having sex in a public park restroom.
Officers arrested 19 people in the operation.