It is the responsibility of the United States Attorney’s Office to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals. Federal law prohibits discrimination in education, employment, credit, housing, public accommodations, voting, and state and local government programs. Violent crime motivated by hatred for an individual’s racial, ethnic, religious, gender, or sexual preference also violates federal law. The United States Attorney’s Office works closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division as well as other investigative agencies to prosecute those who violate the civil rights of individuals in our community. Some of the civil rights cases prosecuted by our office include:
Robert Doggart of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, was convicted of soliciting another person to violate federal civil rights laws by burning down a mosque in Islamberg, a hamlet outside Hancock, New York, and soliciting another person to commit arson and two counts of threatening to destroy a building by fire or an explosive. He was sentenced in June 2017 to serve 235 months in federal prison. https://www.justice.gov/usao-edtn/pr/chattanooga-man-sentenced-solicitation-burn-down-mosque-islamberg-new-york
Steven D. Archer of Knoxville was convicted of federal civil rights charges for his burning a cross in the yard of an inter-racial couple for the purpose of forcing them to move. Archer had bragged about his actions to colleagues who then testified against him in court. https://www.justice.gov/archive/usao/tne/news/2010/July/070110%20Archer%20Conviction%20Hate%20Crime.html
The United States Attorney’s Office provides training and support to agencies and communities responding to racial, ethnic, or religious tensions. For more information about the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights programs visit http://www.justice.gov/crt.