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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Joint Statement on Hate Crimes and Acts of Bias against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

New Haven – Acting U.S. Attorney Leonard C Boyle, Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., of the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice, and Special Agent in Charge David Sundberg of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation today announced efforts to address an increase in hate crimes and bias incidents targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“All Americans should be proud of our nation’s diversity and share a commitment to tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens, no matter their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle.  “We in Connecticut are fortunate that we have not experienced a significant rise in reporting of violence and instances of hatred, intolerance and bigotry against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders similar to what has occurred in other parts of our country this past year.  However, we know these crimes exist, we will not be blind to them, and we want to know about them.  The Connecticut U.S Attorney’s Office, together with the FBI and our other federal, state and local law enforcement partners, is committed to enforcing hate crimes laws that protect all communities.”

“The Division of Criminal Justice is committed to establishing and maintaining a culture of trust and open communication between residents and the State’s Attorney’s Offices in each of the state’s 13 Judicial Districts to improve public safety and to strengthen our community partnerships,” said Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo.  “The Division of Criminal Justice, in partnership with the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office, federal authorities and police departments across the state, stand ready to address all hate-based crimes that have no place in our communities.”

“I want to remind residents of Connecticut communities that any violent criminal act against any person because of their race, color, religion or national origin is a hate crime,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Sundberg.  “This includes violence toward Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders or individuals from East Asian countries.  The FBI will use all authority granted to us by federal law to investigate and hold those who commit violent acts accountable for their actions.  Anyone with knowledge of crimes against Asian community members is asked to report the incident to local police and/or the FBI.  We remain committed to our mission to protect all American people and uphold the Constitution.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI receive and review complaints of potential hate crimes and provide assistance to state and local law enforcement investigations of hate crimes.  Individuals who believe they are the victim of a hate crime or have witnessed a hate crime are encouraged to call their local police department, or the FBI in New Haven at 203-777-6311.  To submit an online tip, visit http://tips.fbi.gov.

Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle noted that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI, which for several years have trained state and local law enforcement officers on hate crimes laws and cultural competency so that officers are better equipped to assess situations they may encounter, are expanding outreach to Asian communities.  In addition, Assistant U.S. Attorneys are being certified to provide training specific to hate crimes against Asian and Pacific Islander communities at the Connecticut State Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST).

The Division of Criminal Justice is currently working to establish designated Hate Crimes points of contact in State’s Attorney’s offices across the state in an effort to immediately address any reports of violence based on bigotry and bias toward people of all races.

Today at 5:00 p.m., Assistant U.S. Attorneys who handle criminal and civil rights matters will be participating in a Zoom presentation sponsored by the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association titled “Stand Up, Speak Out, Be Seen: Moving from Violence to Equity & Inclusion for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.”  (Send an e-mail to capabaorg@gmail.com to request the Zoom link.)

More information about the Justice Department’s Hate Crimes program can be found here: https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes.

To access the most recent statistics on hate crimes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, visit https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/hate-crime-statistics.

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Component(s): 
Updated March 31, 2021