Aug 02 2013

Feinstein, Durbin: DOJ Decision Allows More Effective Hate Crimes Response

Urged Department to expand Hate Crimes Incident Report form and begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu and Arab Americans

Washington—U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) today applauded a decision by the Department of Justice to revise the Hate Crime Incident Report form to collect data on hate crimes motivated by bias against Sikh, Hindu, Arab, Buddhist, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness and Orthodox Christian individuals.

Following up on a promise the Department of Justice made in 2012 to include this data on hate crimes in future reports, Feinstein and Durbin led a group of 26 Senate Democrats in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller in February, asking them to revise the Hate Crime Incident Report form. The FBI’s Advisory Policy Board endorsed those changes in June.

In their February 19 letter, the senators wrote: “In short, we believe that the [Hate Crimes Incident Report form] should be revised to collect data on hate crimes motivated by bias against Sikh Americans, Hindu Americans, and Arab Americans… These senseless acts of hate-fueled violence committed against individuals and groups leave a deep impact on the targeted community as a whole. Communities shaken by hate crimes experience widespread fear and terror in the aftermath of bias-motivated crimes. We must continue our efforts to promote tolerance and prevent hate crimes. We can more effectively respond to hate crimes against Sikh Americans, Hindu Americans, and Arab Americans with accurate measurements of those crimes.”

The February letter was also signed by Senators Leahy (D-Vt.), Schumer (D-N.Y.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Franken (D-Minn.), Coons (D-Del.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Hirono (D-Hawaii), Levin (D-Mich.), Harkin (D-Iowa), Boxer (D-Calif.), Murray (D-Wash.), Cantwell (D-Wash.), Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Menendez (D-N.J.), Cardin (D-Md.), Brown (D-Ohio), Udall (D-N.M.), Warner (D-Va.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Baldwin (D-Wis.), Heinrich (D-N.M.), Kaine (D-Va.) and Warren (D-Mass.).

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