California law prohibits threats or violence against individuals or groups or their property because of personal characteristics or associations. State laws similarly prohibit defacing, damaging or destroying another’s property to intimidate or interfere with his/her rights. Crimes routinely classified as misdemeanors can be felonies if committed because of bigotry.
A conviction cannot be based on speech alone, unless the speech itself threatens violence against a specific individual or group and the speaker has the ability to carry out the threat.
If you are the victim of or witness to a hate crime, report it as soon as possible to the UC Merced Police Department, at 209-228-2677 (CAT-COPS), or use the resources below.
Hate Crime Resources
Anonymous Tip Line: 209-228-8477
Counseling Services: 209-228-4266
Student Judicial Affairs: 209-228-5433
Valley Crisis Center: 209-722-4357 or business line 209-725-7900