The Department of Justice has set aside $21 million for hate crime investigations and prosecutions.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that $21 million will be allocated to hate crime investigations and prosecutions by one of their offices.
The Department of Justice said on Thursday that the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) will be in charge of investigating and prosecuting hate crimes as well as supporting victims of hate crimes. Due to a spike in violent and property crimes conducted under the pretext of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or handicap, this recent funding will also benefit state, municipal, and tribal agencies, as well as community organizations.
The announcement comes as the Department of Justice commemorates the 12th anniversary of President Barack Obama’s signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law in 2009.
Shepard, a gay 21-year-old Wyoming man, and Byrd, a 49-year-old black Texas man, were both killed in separate instances in 1998. While Shepard was beaten, tormented, and left to die in Wyoming, Byrd was hauled to his death by white nationalists tied to the back of a pickup truck.
The Shepard-Byrd Hate Offenses Prevention Act empowers the Justice Department to pursue crimes motivated by race, color, religion, or national origin without requiring the victim to participate in federally protected conduct. Hate crimes perpetrated because of a person’s sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or handicap can also be prosecuted under the act.
“Hate crimes spread terror throughout entire communities,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta in a press release.
Gupta remarked, “They have profoundly harmful and unacceptable impacts on our society.” “The department is committed to combating hate crimes with all instruments at our disposal.” These grants will give extra support and resources to state, municipal, and tribal authorities to combat hate crimes and their far-reaching consequences.” In a news release, OJP Acting Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon warned that hate-motivated violence and damage can cause long-term injury to victims, devastate communities, and “divide our nation, leaving deep wounds and slowing the march toward equal justice.” “We must work together to close empathy gaps, eradicate intolerance in all of its forms, and deliver a strong message that the future is bright.” This is a condensed version of the information.