In the same position as Berkeley and Davis in terms of hate crimes, Palm Springs stands with a sullied reputation because the police in the area have been unable to control crimes linked to orientation. Given the number of hate crimes that were reported in the community in 2013, Palm Springs has now gained notoriety as the area with the 5th highest number of sexual orientation related criminal incidents in the state.
What is shocking is that although both Davis and Berkeley are no better in this respect, they do have significantly higher population figures. The Police of Palm Springs seem to be shunning the responsibility for this, attributing the increase in the crime category to the diverse populace that calls the city its home.
Within the first few months of 2015, 2 attacks were reported on homosexual men in the city. Both involved the same perpetrator, a homeless man named Joshua Wade Johnson in his thirties. The first victim was a senior, a 71 year old man, who was attacked as he got out of a commercial establishment in the city.
Johnson showed a trend in the way both crimes were committed which leaves no doubt about the fact that these incidents were linked to his loathing for the LGBT community. He pounced on the first victim and the second person to be attacked, a young man in his twenties, after they said they were gay.
In the first incident, Johnson asked his victim about his sexual orientation and then attacked him causing bodily harm that needed medical treatment. As far as the second case was concerned, the defendant asked the victim for spare change and upon his refusal, he badmouthed him and then proceeded to physically assault him.
At the moment, Los Angeles has the dubious distinction of being the city with highest hate crime rate. However, if the police of Palm Spring don’t take decisive action to control the burgeoning rate of such criminal incidents, it won’t be long before the city starts competing with Los Angeles for the notorious top spot.