States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|March 16, 2011||
CONNECTICUT U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE CONVENES
More than 200 members of federal, state and local law enforcement, government offices, community organizations and others gathered today at the 2011 Civil Rights Conference for the District of Connecticut. The conference was convened by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and hosted by the Quinnipiac University School of Law in Hamden.
The conference featured presentations by Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Attorney David B. Fein, and a personal and in-depth discussion of the Matthew Shepard Case, including Dennis Shepard, the father of Matthew Shepard, and Sheriff David O’Malley, the lead investigator in the Matthew Shepard Case. In October 1998, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming because of his sexual orientation.
“Partnering with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has embarked on a significant civil rights enforcement initiative,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “As part of our continuing outreach efforts in the area of Civil Rights, this conference convened local, state, and federal law enforcement, community organizations and community leaders who are trailblazers in the area of civil rights. We are honored to have had participants and panelists with rich and diverse backgrounds, and we appreciate the cooperative and tireless efforts of all who are helping to promote a deeper understanding of the issues within our community and protecting the civil rights of everyone.”
“We are truly fortunate to have been joined by Dennis Shepard, who, along with his wife Judy, tirelessly and successfully advocated for expanded hate crimes legislation since Matthew’s death, and David O’Malley, who was instrumental in bringing Matthew’s killers to justice,” continued U.S. Attorney Fein.
“As the late Senator Ted Kennedy said so often, civil rights remain the unfinished business of our nation,” stated Assistant Attorney General Perez. “I applaud U.S. Attorney Fein for strengthening his office’s focus on civil rights, and I am grateful to have such a dedicated partner on the ground in Connecticut as we continue our efforts to protect the rights of all individuals.”
During his remarks, U.S. Attorney Fein announced that he has appointed two Civil Rights Coordinators to oversee the office’s expanding docket of Civil Rights matters. Assistant United States Attorney Ndidi Moses serves as the Civil Rights Coordinator for the office’s Civil Division, and Assistant United States Attorney Krishna Patel serves as the Civil Rights Coordinator for the Criminal Division.
“In the past year, we have more than tripled the number of Civil Rights cases under investigation in our office,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “Ndidi and Krishna are accomplished and passionate about their work, and I’m delighted that they have taken on this important responsibility.”
U.S. Attorney Fein also announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has created a Civil Rights Fellowship for college seniors and second and third-year law students to work in the office on Civil Rights matters during both the fall and spring semesters, and over the summer months.
Following presentations by the featured speakers, conference attendees attended breakout sessions on Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation, Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Institutions and the Community, Voting Rights, Fair Housing and Fair Credit, Bullying and discrimination in Schools, Excessive Force and Police Misconduct, and Veteran’s Rights.
The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, created in 1957 by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin.
The United States Attorney’s Office is charged with enforcing federal criminal laws in Connecticut, and with representing the federal government in civil litigation in the District.
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