Hate crimes continue to be a plague to our state and nation: A Mexican immigrant was beaten to death last year in Shenandoah. Also last year, some 7,000 hate crimes were reported to the FBI.
This month, Congress has an opportunity to deal with this challenge by adopting the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
A top priority of the Anti-Defamation League, this legislation would strengthen federal hate crimes laws by authorizing the Department of Justice to assist local authorities investigating and prosecuting certain bias-motivated crimes. The bill would also provide authority for the federal government to prosecute some bias-motivated crimes directed against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Current law does not provide sufficient authority for involvement in these cases.