AG Merrick Garland Launches Hate Crime Detection Review After Biden Announced New Policy To Tackle Anti-Asian Attacks
- Attorney General Merrick Garland commissioned the Justice Department to investigate how best to use its resources to combat violence against Asian-Americans
- Garland’s order came when Biden’s government announced it was investing $ 49.5 million in community programs to help victims
- The measures come after a shooting in Atlanta earlier this month that killed eight people, six of them Asian-American women
- A spike in hate crimes against Asian-Americans has been reported since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic led to a shutdown
- President Joe Biden and other officials have placed some of the responsibility on former President Donald Trump for calling COVID the “ Chinese virus. ”
- A big problem is that the US government vastly underestimates hate crimes because the FBI’s reporting system is voluntary
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday ordered a review of how the Justice Department can best use its resources to combat hate crimes amid an increase in incidents targeting Asian-Americans.
Garland published a department-wide memo announcing the 30-day review, describing the “ recent upsurge in hate crimes and hate incidents, particularly the troubling trend in reports of violence against members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community since the inception of the pandemic. ‘
Garland’s order came on the same day that the Biden administration announced a series of measures to respond to anti-Asian violence, including deploying $ 49.5 million from COVID-19 emergency funds to US community programs that will aid victims.
Attorney General Merrick Garland Tuesday ordered an evaluation of how the Justice Department can best use its resources to combat hate crimes amid an increase in incidents targeting Asian-Americans
At the same time, President Joe Biden’s administration will devote $ 49.5 million in pandemic relief funds to US community programs that will help victims, including a new task force dedicated to combating xenophobia against Asians in health care.
The Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities were upset after a trio of shootings at spas in Georgia earlier this month, in which six of the eight victims were Asian-American women. The shootings took place at a time when violence against Asian-Americans is on the rise
Biden’s new moves include $ 49.5 million in pandemic relief funds for “ community-based, culturally specific services and programs for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, ” as well as a new task force dedicated to combating xenophobia against Asians in health care.
The measures come after a shooting in Atlanta earlier this month that killed eight people, six of them Asian-American women.
The shooting sparked fear among those in the Asian-American Pacific Islander community, which has reported a spike in hate crimes since March 2020, when then-President Donald Trump began referring to the new coronavirus as the “ Chinese virus. ”
U.S. police departments are reporting an increase in hate crimes and attacks on Asian-Americans, and lawmakers and community leaders have increasingly spoken out on the need for the federal government to do more to combat hate crimes.
In July, about 150 members of Congress called on the Justice Department to take action against crimes against Asian Americans, and last week, a two-tiered group of former U.S. attorneys wrote an open letter expressing their support for the Asian-American. community and the hatred of their convicts. each group.
For federal officials to combat the trend, federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials should focus on investigating and prosecuting hate crimes while expanding the reach of the community, Garland said.
They should also focus on improving the FBI’s collection of data on hate crimes, which is “ critical to understanding the evolving nature and scale of hate crimes and hate incidents in all their forms, ” he wrote in the memo.
A major criticism from lawmakers and civil rights groups has been that the US government greatly underestimates hate crimes because the FBI’s reporting system is voluntary.
In some states, only 5 percent of police forces reported hate crimes last year.
“We must re-engage in this urgent task and ensure that the department uses its resources to the best and most effective use to combat hatred,” said Garland’s memo.
The review is designed to determine how the Department of Justice can better prioritize investigations and prosecutions, increase and monitor the reporting of hate crimes and other incidents that could violate federal law, and use civil remedies to address biased incidents. that do not amount to federal hate crimes.
It will also strive to ensure that each of the 94 US law firms across the country has resources for identifying hate crimes and bias incidents, as well as exploring how the department can better interact with communities, among other things.