For Immediate Release: Date: May 27, 2021
Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director
WASHINGTON – Today, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued guidance to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on “Improving the Department’s Efforts to Combat Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents.” The guidance implements the DOJ’s obligations under the newly enacted COVID-19 Hate Crimes law.
As part of today’s announcement, Attorney General Garland stated that the DOJ will, amongst other activities:
- Designate the Chief of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section to expedite review of hate crimes allegations brought to light during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Appoint a Deputy Associate Attorney General to serve as coordinator for DOJ’s anti-hate crime and hate incident resources. That coordinator will also be a central hub for law enforcement and community stakeholders on relevant training and outreach materials.
- Encourage all U.S. Attorneys Offices to designate both a criminal and civil Assistant U.S. Attorney to serve as Civil Rights Coordinators in every judicial district.
- Create district alliances of between federal, state, and local law enforcement, against hate, where feasible.
- Establish a position of Language Access Coordinator for the Department.
NAPABA is already working in several of these areas. NAPABA has, in partnership with APIA Health Forum, created Combat Hate Crimes Toolkits in 25 different AA NHPI languages on how to identify and report hate crimes.
Language equity and access has been a priority of NAPABA for decades. NAPABA encourages the Coordinator to draw on NAPABA’s Language Access Project and its groundbreaking report on linguistic equity for Asian Pacific Americans navigating the justice system.
To report a hate crime, contact local law enforcement or your nearest FBI field office, or visit: https://www.napaba.org/page/ReportaHateCrime
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.