Last Updated on May 21, 2022
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced new initiatives worth $10 million to combat hates crimes and other “bias-related incidents.” The move comes just days after the House passed a bill that would authorize “dedicated offices” within U.S. federal government departments to monitor domestic terrorism and hate crimes.
“Throughout our history, and to this day, hate crimes have a singular impact because of the terror and fear they inflict on entire communities,” Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote in a press release.
“We have seen a spike in hate crimes against many communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. In many cases, individuals are still scared to leave their homes – not only because of worry that they may contract the virus, but out of fear for their physical safety,” Garland continued.
This is unacceptable,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, who serves as Co-Chair of the White House Initiative and President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to combatting hate crimes against all Americans. Today’s announcements help deliver on the President’s pledge to ensure the safety of our communities.”
The DOJ issued new guidance with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to raise awareness on COVID-19 related hate crimes.
Garland referenced attacks against “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities” while detailing “several steps that law enforcement, government officials, and others can take to raise awareness of increased hate crimes and incidents.”
These steps include $5 million in grant opportunities the department will use to set up a state-run reporting hotline for victims of hate crimes.
“Through these programs, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) will provide up to $5 million in grant funds for the Bureau of Justice Statistics to support the transition of state and local law enforcement agencies to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and reporting of hate crimes through NIBRS, and for the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) to fund states to establish and run state-run reporting hotlines for victims of hate crimes,” Garland wrote.
In addition, Garland tapped Saeed Mody to serve as the Department’s new “Anti-Hate Crimes Resources Coordinator.”
The DOJ’s announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes and “Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Acts.”
Since January 2021, the DOJ has said it has secured more than 35 convictions of defendants charged with “bias-motivated crimes”, according to The Epoch Times.