ADL Hails Historic Senate Approval of Federal Hate Crime Measure
Washington, D.C. June 20, 2000.... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today
hailed the Senateís approval of the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act,
legislation designed to eliminate gaps in federal authority to investigate and
prosecute bias-motivated crimes.
"This historic Senate action today puts us squarely on track to secure
the final passage of this necessary legislation before Congress adjourns this
fall," said Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H.
Foxman, ADL National Director. "We will continue our leadership role in
coordinating a coalition of law enforcement, civic, religious and civil rights
groups in support of this important measure."
"This amendment will authorize the Department of Justice to assist local
prosecutions and, where appropriate, investigate and prosecute cases in which
the bias violence occurs because of the victim's race, religion, national
origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability. Existing federal law does not
provide authority for involvement in sexual orientation, gender or disability
cases at all."
"In recent months, all Americans have been horrified by the specter of
the senseless violence which has accompanied a series of highly visible hate
crimes," said Mr. Berkowitz and Mr. Foxman. "Recognizing that bias
crimes have a dramatic impact on local communities, almost every state has now
enacted a hate crime statute - many based on an ADL model law. Now, Congress
must act to empower the federal government to assist local hate crime
prosecutions - and, where appropriate, to expand existing federal authority to
permit investigations and prosecutions in cases in which the bias violence
occurs because of the victimís sexual orientation, gender or disability."
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.