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Westlawn Avenue Hate Crime SARA Project

NCJ Number
A Belotto
Date Published
4 pages
In October 1995, racially derogatory flyers were left in the driveway of a home in the Westchester community of Los Angeles; the victim was involved in an inter-racial relationship and believed this relationship was the reason for the flyers.
During the following 8 months, offensive attacks against the victim escalated from flyers to roofing tacks and paint balls and also involved other inter-racial couples living in the community. The intent appeared to be to terrorize the victims, and the crimes were committed at night or when no witnesses were on the street. The police department met with neighborhood watch participants to solicit cooperation from residents of the area. An effort was made to identify the perpetrator through follow-up interviews with victims and potential witnesses. Community residents worked with police officers to look for the suspect and to provide support for victims. A suspect was later arrested and prosecuted for more than 30 counts of vandalism, stalking, and related hate crimes.