TASK FORCE ON VIOLENT HATE GROUPS NEEDED NOW, ADL TELLS
New York, NY, June 8, 1995...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged the Attorney
General to set up a Task Force within the Justice Department to facilitate
federal prosecutions of those involved with organized, violent hate groups.
ADL said the resources and visibility of a similar Task Force led to successful
neo-Nazi skinhead prosecutions for civil rights violations in 1988-90.
In a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, David H. Strassler, ADL National
Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, noted the "significant
impact" of the earlier investigations and prosecutions, saying, "They
removed from the scene some of the most vicious of the front-line fighters
for the organized hate movement. In addition, these well-publicized prosecutions
helped deter further skinhead crime."
Strassler and Foxman urged Attorney General Reno "to act expeditiously
to establish this organized Hate Group Task Force under the leadership of
the Civil Rights Division to facilitate and coordinate federal and state
prosecutions of these violent lawbreakers whose criminal conduct is motivated
They pointed out how ADL has for decades served as a reliable source of
information on hate groups and responses to violent bigotry. "While
no laws can force some individuals to change their racist and anti-Semitic
views, diligent law enforcement investigations and vigorous prosecutions
can deter and prevent criminal activities," they wrote.
The League leaders said a Task Force at this time would be "an effective
demonstration of the federal government's resolve to help state and local
law enforcement authorities effectively address violent bigotry."
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.