ADL Applauds Arrest of Suspects in Anti-Semitic Incident in Lawrenceville, GA
Atlanta, GA, September 2, 2005 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applauds the arrest of four suspects -- three teens and an adult -- for committing terroristic threats and acts against a Jewish family in Lawrenceville (Metro Atlanta) Georgia. The family awoke August 28 to find swastikas and the word “fascist” burned into their front lawn and spray-painted in the street in front of their home, and their property further defaced with eggs, feces and toilet paper.
"While Gwinnett County Police were initially slow to respond to this incident, we are pleased with how swiftly and thoroughly they have conducted the investigation," said Deborah Lauter, ADL Southeast Regional Director. "Hate crimes demand a priority response because of their special emotional and psychological impact on the victim and the victim's community. This was not just a teen-age prank—the perpetrators clearly sought to terrorize the family."
ADL has long been in the forefront of national and state efforts to deter and counteract hate-motivated criminal activity, including training law enforcement on hate crime response. In 2004, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the Georgia Hate Crimes statute based on its vague language, and Georgia is now one of only five states that do not have such legislation.
"We hope this incident will shine a light on the fact that a hate crime statute is necessary to send a strong message that prejudice and bigotry have no business in Georgia," said Ms. Lauter. "We commend the Ragans family for having the courage to stand firm in the fight against hate, and we are pleased that so many people of goodwill came forth to express their support for them during this difficult time."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.