If you witness a crime being committed, you will likely call the police or inform nearby authorities. While doing this, you may also decide to walk away from the area because you don’t want to get caught up in the middle of it. Both of these actions are natural, but recent reports suggest that informing police about a crime is not something that is happening among a certain group of people.
Latinos Less Likely to Report Crimes in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said rape reports have dropped 25 percent, while domestic violence reports have dropped by 10 percent. Between January 1 and March 18 of 2017, Latino victims have reported 123 sexual assaults compared to 164 reports in the same timeframe in 2016.
Reports of spousal abuse in that timeframe dropped from 1,210 in 2016 to 1,092 in 2017. According to Beck, this decline in reporting was not seen among any other ethnic groups.
So, does this mean that crime is significantly down? No, but there is one major reason that is likely contributing to the decline in police reports among Latinos.
Fear of Deportation Leading to Less Reports of Crime
“Imagine a young woman, imagine your daughter, your sister, your mother not reporting a sexual assault because they are afraid that their family will be torn apart,” Chief Beck said at a recent event.
Beck and the city of Los Angeles are attributing the decreasing number of police reports amongst Latinos to a fear of deportation. With recent reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are going into courthouses to detain immigrants, there is a growing sense of fear among the Latino population that interacting with law enforcement in any way could lead to deportation.
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Los Angeles, like many cities in California, has a policy in place to prevent law enforcement officers from checking the immigration status of individuals in custody and from detaining these individuals longer than warranted without a court order under the request of federal deportation agents. Continue reading →