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Hate Incidents

TX Men Plead Guilty to Victimizing Gay Men Lured via Grindr

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DALLAS — Daryl Henry, 24, and Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon, 19, pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal hate crime under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act and other charges in connection with their involvement in a scheme to target gay men for violent crimes.

Daryl Henry pleaded guilty to one count of 18 U.S.C. § 249, (hate crime act), and one count of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping, and carjacking). Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon pleaded guilty to one count of 18 U.S.C. § 249 (hate crime act), one count of 18 U.S.C. § 2119 (carjacking), and one count of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence).

“Kidnappings, carjackings, thefts, sexual assaults, and armed, violent attacks against innocent people are heinous crimes, and when perpetrators commit those crimes against victims because of their sexual orientation, the U.S. Department of Justice will continue zealously to seek justice for the victims and to punish the perpetrators to the full extent of the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “Prosecuting those who commit such monstrous acts because of victims’ sexual orientation is a priority of the Department of Justice, and we will continue to bring to justice anyone who commits such hateful, violent crimes.”

“These defendants used Grindr to single out their victim based on sexual orientation – something the Northern District of Texas simply will not tolerate,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time a dating app user has fallen victim to a violent crime. I’m urging the public to be vigilant about the dangers lurking online.”

“One of the FBI’s top priorities is to defend the civil rights of the communities we serve. We actively work with our law enforcement partners to investigate hate crimes and achieve justice for the victims impacted by these violent crimes,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “The victims in this case were specifically targeted because of their sexual orientation. The FBI wants to reassure the public that we will pursue individuals who commit violent hate acts against any member of our community.”

According to court documents filed in connection with their guilty pleas, both Henry and Ceniceros-Deleon admitted Grindr was used, a social media dating platform primarily used by gay men, to lure gay men to a vacant apartment and other areas in and around Dallas for robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, and hate crimes. Henry admitted that he and others held the victims against their will in the vacant apartment. Ceniceros-Deleon admitted that he and others traveled to local ATMs to withdraw cash from the victims’ accounts. Both Henry and Ceniceros-Deleon admitted that while the victims were being held captive they were subjected to taunts based upon the co-conspirators’ perception of the men’s sexual orientation.

In addition, Ceniceros-Deleon admitted to being the gunman in a Dec. 7, 2017, carjacking where he and others used Grindr to lure a man to a location and then forced the man, at gunpoint, to drive the conspirators to local ATMs to withdraw cash from the man’s account.

In March of 2019, Michael Atkinson pleaded guilty to conspiracy and kidnapping charges in connection with this case. Atkinson will be sentenced in February of 2020. Sentencing for Ceniceros-Deleon is set for April 1, 2020. The court has not set a sentencing hearing for Henry.

The FBI’s Dallas Field Office conducted the federal investigation; a separate criminal investigation is being conducted by the Dallas Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Dana of the Northern District of Texas along with Special Litigation Counsel Rose E. Gibson and Trial Attorney Kathryn Gilbert of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.

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Hate Incidents

Racist CVS Woman Off Hook in LA Hate Crime Investigation

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Racist CVS Woman Lynn Patton Off Hook in Hate Crime Investigation

LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — The woman who infamously went on a racist and hateful rant outside a CVS store in L.A. will NOT face any criminal charges … TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Heather Lynn Patton is off the hook nearly 4 months after she went on a hateful tirade threatening to kill black people … and it was all caught on video.

After the LAPD opened an investigation, it was brought to the L.A. County DA’s Office for charge consideration but it was then kicked down to the City Attorney’s Office.

We’re told the City Attorney evaluated the criminal threats but ultimately they declined to prosecute her. As we reported … the disgraced Hollywood costume designer dropped n-bombs and viciously screamed she wanted to kill black people.

Patton worked on “Private Practice” among other shows … and celebs were quick to react. Patton ultimately apologized on Instagram … calling her actions inhumane and disgusting. She claimed the rant was the result of being intoxicated.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Hate Incidents

What I Learned From a Year of Covering So Many Hate Crimes in LA

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by Joshua Chang for Crosstown LA

LOS ANGELES — There were 320* hate crimes committed in the City of Los Angeles last year. I covered every one of them.

This was part of an experiment we conducted at Crosstown: If we automatically scanned police records for every hate crime, would a pattern emerge?

Would this tell us something about our city we hadn’t known? Our goal, as outlined by Editor-in-Chief Gabriel Kahn, was not to sensationalize each instance, but to measure the cadence of intolerance.

Crosstown is an experiment in how data can be harnessed to reinvigorate local journalism. So we leaned on our in-house data scientists to build a Slackbot that would ping us every time the Los Angeles Police Department registered a new hate crime.

Though I wrote up a synopsis of each hate crime, there is still so much I do not know. We are limited by the data LAPD provides to the public. We do our best to decipher their numeric codes into a narrative. For example, a police record that contains “0903” is a hate crime. One that also has “0906” means that it is gang-related. If it also has “0421,” then the underlying crime committed was a death threat.

Here is what one of our hate crime “cards” looks like: 

Sometimes, these codes expose chilling details, as on Oct. 16, when multiple suspects overwhelmed a 60-year-old transient black male in Echo Park, threatened him, bit him and hurled racial slurs. Or in Rancho Park, when, on Sept. 13, a suspect threatened four black students with a knife while shouting bigoted profanities. 

The data can also bring quantifiable precision to a creeping climate of racism and bigotry. The 320 reported hate crimes of 2019 represent an 8.5% increase from a year earlier. Reports of hate crimes have been rising steadily since 2014, when there were 170. Out of 14 anti-transgender hate crimes last year, 11 of them targeted transgender women of color.

But more often, we are left with frustrating gaps about these incidents. The LAPD’s data can be spotty. Sometimes the details are so spare that it isn’t at all clear why the incident was classified as a hate crime in the first place. Occasionally, reports that were initially classified as hate crimes are reclassified as run-of-the-mill assaults or robberies. And vice versa. We never learn the motivation of the suspect or the fate of the victim.

I have not seen the faces of the victims, nor have I talked to them, at least in person. The data provides no details about their identity. Our requests for full police transcripts of incidents usually run into a brick wall; the department refuses to release them because, as is typical of hate crimes, they remain under investigation.

And, of course, we only know of the hate crimes that are reported to the police. Many others never make it into the public record.

As of this moment, the LAPD’s crime code manual does not have codes that identify the suspects’ potential beliefs or their affiliated hate groups – like the Atomwaffen Division, the Proud Boys and the Rise Above Movement, all violent white-supremacist groups active in Southern California.

Hate crimes involving white supremacist groups encompassed 16% of all hate crimes that were recorded in Los Angeles County in 2018, according to the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. Gang-related hate crimes made up 9%. 

Still, LAPD is among the best in the nation when it comes to keeping track of this data. “We should recognize not many cities have a hate crime-specific division in their police departments,” says Prof. Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the California State University, San Bernardino

Last year, LAPD’s chief hate-crimes coordinator, Det. Orlando Martinez, instituted a new policy that uses 35 different codes to identify the bias motivations of the suspect and six different codes to identify if the victim was targeted for sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion and race. For example, “1536” refers to anti-gay bias, which was recorded 48 times last year.

Obtaining more details on hate crimes can also walk a fine line between thorough reporting and exploiting personal information. Marshall Wong of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations warned me that by disclosing the specifics, I could be neglecting victims’ wishes to move on from traumatic experiences or reveal sexual orientation without their consent.

As important as it is to keep an impartial barometer on the development of hate in the city, I often felt like I am merely tracing the expanding aftermath of a growing social illness.

At the close of the year, there are more things I do not know about these crimes than things I do know. Crosstown has always been about reimagining local journalism to better fit the needs of its community and knowing what we do well and not well is where it all begins. In 2020, we will be rolling out an entirely new approach to reporting hate crimes, one which can give our readers a more refined and up-to-date picture about what is happening in our city. Stay tuned.

Crosstown covers the neighborhoods of Los Angeles in a different way — through data — to help people make their neighborhoods and the city safer, healthier, and more connected.



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Hate Incidents

WANTED: Suspect Seen Vandalizing WeHo Business in Apparent Hate Incident

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WEST HOLLYWOOD — Detectives from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are advising of a vandalism that occurred in the 8800 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, between the hours of 2:00 AM and 8:00 AM on December 31, 2019. 

The graffiti that appeared to be anti-Semitic, was located on the front of the business window and clearly visible from Santa Monica Boulevard and is currently being investigated as a possible hate crime.

A similar incident may have also occurred in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, on December 29, 2019 and is also being investigated.

A nearby business provided surveillance video to the victim of a male, white, adult who is a suspect in the occurrence at 8800 Santa Monica Boulevard.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and will be handled by the West Hollywood Station Sheriff’s Station Detectives. Anyone who has information on these incidents, or recognizes the suspect, please call West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850.

LA Crime Stoppers: Partner to prevent or report crime by contacting your local Sheriff’s station. If you wish to remain anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), using your smartphone by downloading the “P3 MOBILE APP” on Google play or the App Store, or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

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