Press Releases

Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) today called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to provide additional details about the Justice Department’s efforts to investigate hate crimes.

“Please know that we commend your efforts to prioritize investigations of these heinous crimes,” the senators wrote. “We would like a written update on DOJ’s implementation of the recommendations outlined in your May 27, 2021, memo and the provisions in the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act. In addition, we request that your staff, including the Deputy Associate Attorney General who you have tasked to oversee DOJ’s anti-hate crimes and incident resources, provide a staff-level briefing to specifically describe and answer questions about DOJ’s recent actions to combat hate crimes and hate incidents.”

Full text of the letter is available here and follows:

The Honorable Merrick Garland
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Attorney General Garland:

This letter is to request additional information concerning your May 27, 2021, memorandum entitled “Improving the Department’s Efforts to Combat Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents.”

Hate crimes are on the rise across the country. And these deplorable acts of violence have a deep and lasting impact on our communities. For instance, earlier this year, the City of San Francisco reported a 567 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crime reports in 2021. On January 15, 2022, a gunman held hostages in a Texas synagogue for eleven hours. And in recent weeks, more than a dozen historically Black colleges and universities have received bomb threats that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified as racially motivated. It is clear that these crimes have a compounding effect. Last August, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported a 6.1 percent increase in hate crimes in 2020 – a number that is likely much higher given how many of these crimes go unreported.

Please know that we commend your efforts to prioritize investigations of these heinous crimes. We would like a written update on DOJ’s implementation of the recommendations outlined in your May 27, 2021, memo and the provisions in the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act. In addition, we request that your staff, including the Deputy Associate Attorney General who you have tasked to oversee DOJ’s anti-hate crimes and incident resources, provide a staff-level briefing to specifically describe and answer questions about DOJ’s recent actions to combat hate crimes and hate incidents.

We are encouraged by DOJ’s efforts to respond to these hateful incidents and the recommendations you have implemented. We look forward to discussing this matter further with your staff.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Alex Padilla
United States Senator

Cory Booker
United States Senator

###