Leading Civil Rights Organization and Police Chiefs Join to Address Hate Crimes

By | August 23, 2017

Recognizing the critical role law enforcement and community leaders play in responding to hate crimes, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) have come together to launch a new effort that will significantly strengthen the continuing dialogue on this serious issue. Through the establishment of an advisory committee, “Enhancing the Response to Hate Crimes,” the Lawyers’ Committee and the IACP will lead a discussion about ways to break down barriers and strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and communities that too often are the targets of hate crimes.

“The tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia serve as a chilling reminder that too many communities are the targets of hate-fueled acts. In these difficult moments, we must redouble our efforts to combat hate. That includes a thoughtful dialogue among law enforcement and the civil rights community to ensure the needs of targeted communities, including racial and religious minorities, LGBT, and the handicapped are addressed,” said Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee. “The Lawyers’ Committee is proud to partner with the IACP in launching such an important discussion with all key stakeholders on how best to respond to hate crimes.”

“The IACP is excited to be partnering with the Lawyers’ Committee to address the individual and collective harm faced in communities due to hate crime,” said Donald W. De Lucca, President of the IACP and Chief of the Doral, Florida, Police Department. “By joining forces, we will assist agencies and community leaders in effectively responding to hate crimes, providing resources, and developing solutions to prevent such incidents. Through the advisory committee, the IACP and Lawyers’ Committee will bring together unique expertise to establish an achievable action agenda that will help stakeholders across the United States respond quickly to these crimes, making a lasting impact on victims and their communities.” When the action agenda is completed, the IACP and the Lawyers’ Committee will seek public and private funding to support implementation.

Hate incidents and hate crimes have a devastating effect on individual victims and entire communities, as recent events across the country have made clear. The advisory committee being announced today will focus on incidents that are motivated by actual or perceived race, national origin, religious background, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability of any person. The committee will also discuss the many legal, economic, emotional, social, and safety issues that arise in the wake of hate incidents and propose recommendations on how best to respond. Members of the new advisory committee will include law enforcement and civil rights leaders, advocates, academic experts, and victims of hate crime.

The advisory committee will convene its first meeting on September 19, 2017. The committee will establish a comprehensive action agenda for public officials, community leaders, law enforcement officers, and justice system leaders to help them create a seamless response to hate crimes. This action agenda, once funded and implemented, will help improve the safety of all individuals threatened by hate through the protection of their civil rights.