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Latinos Murdered At Twice The Rate Of Whites In California, Report Says

The report found Latinos are generally at a "cumulative disadvantage" in California's criminal justice system.

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Latinos in California are twice as likely to be murdered than whites, and they're more likely to be killed by a stranger, according to a new report by a nonprofit that advocates for changes to the criminal justice system.

The report paints a picture of "cumulative disadvantage" for Latinos, who are more likely than whites to be victims of crime in general, and experience unequal treatment at all levels of the criminal justice system despite being the largest ethnic group in the state.

Latinos, for example, are more likely to be shot than whites, and their homes more likely to be burglarized.


But they are less likely to be shot or robbed than African-Americans, according to data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics from 1994 and 2011.

They are also more likely to be survivors of more than three crimes.

Alex Gallardo / Reuters

A 2013 survey of crime survivors in California found that 43% of Latinos experienced three or more crimes within the past five years, compared to 36% of crime survivors overall.

An increase in immigration has also led to a rise in hate crimes against Latinos, according to the report.

Nhat V. Meyer / San Jose Mercury News / Via

In a 2013 survey of several counties in southwest California (including Los Angeles County), 44% of Latinos said they would be hesitant to report a crime for fear that police would ask them or others about their immigration status.


The report also found latinos are generally treated worse by the criminal justice system.

Lezlie Sterling/Sacramento Bee / MCT

A 2005 analysis found that Latinos were less likely to be released on their own recognizance. When they were offered bail, amounts were significantly higher (on average $25,000 higher) than they were African-Americans or whites in similar circumstances.

The same study found 51% of Latinos were incarcerated pretrial, compared to 32% of whites.

Latinos are just as likely as whites to be re-arrested and convicted after they are released from prison, but they are punished with incarceration at a much higher level.

Stephen Lam / Reuters / Reuters

According to a 2009 study of 15 states’ data over 15 years.

California has a list of people they believe to be involved with a gang. Latinos make up two-thirds of the list.

El Salvador / Reuters

Names can be added without verification or someone’s knowledge, and being on the list can result in harsher treatment, including longer sentences for an offense, even if it is unrelated to gangs.

The report by Californians for Safety and Justice is built on research conducted by the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California.

It also points out the shortcomings of studies that use "Latinos" as a catchall phrase, and calls for more detailed and comprehensive data collection that takes into account the varied experiences of subsets of the Latino population.

Los Angeles-based reporter.

Contact Juan E. Gastelum at

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