WASHINGTON – Citing an “urgent” need to reset hate crime enforcement strategy, Attorney General Merrick Garland launched a 30-day review to assess the government’s tracking capabilities and prosecution of hate offenses that are surging across the country.
“The recent rise in hate crime and hate incidents, particularly the disturbing trend in reports of violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community since the start of the pandemic, requires renewed energy…,” Garland said in a memo to all Justice Department staffers.
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Garland did not specifically refer to the recent mass shooting in Georgia, where six of eight victims were of Asian descent, but the attorney vowed to “seek justice for the victims of the hate-fueled mass murders that we have seen too many times in the past several years.”
The slayings, Garland said, have “shaken our communities, torn at our social fabric and undercut our most basic values.”