(Washington, D.C.) — President Joseph R. Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Tuesday afternoon, actions to respond to anti-Asian violence with the Department of Justice launching a 30-day expedited review into how the agency can bolster its efforts to respond to hate crimes and hate incidents and improve data collection of such incidents. The following is a statement from Damon Hewitt, acting president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“These initial steps show that the administration takes seriously the spike in hate crimes directed at the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We support the administration’s efforts and call for additional measures to address the intertwined hatred of racist, sexual, and gender-based violence.
“Through the work of our James Byrd Center to Stop Hate, we have called for law enforcement to improve its responsiveness to these harms impacting communities of color. Through training numerous law enforcement agencies, advocating for enhanced hate-crime tracking and prosecutions, and direct support efforts, we will continue to stand in solidarity and lift up the voices of communities and individuals targeted for hate. Echoing our partners in the affected communities, as we strive to create a freer, fairer and safer society, we must do so together while addressing the white supremacy and systemic racism often behind these horrendous acts.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org. The James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate, a project of the Lawyers’ Committee, supports communities and individuals targeted for hate and challenges white supremacy by using creative legal advocacy and litigation, disrupting systems that enable hate, and educating the general public and policy makers.