Federal law enforcement leaders address discrimination amid Coronavirus pandemic
ATLANTA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, reminds citizens the law enforcement mission of the Justice Department to detect, investigate, and prosecute wrongdoing during the COVID-19 crisis continues. A crucial part of this mission is ensuring all citizens are free from harassment or discrimination because of their ethnicity.
“All of us in law enforcement are committed to the safety of citizens amidst this crisis. Every citizen without distinction,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “However, harassing people based on their real or perceived race or ethnicity is unacceptable and we will prosecute hate crimes and anti-discrimination violations to the fullest extent of the law.”
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to remind everyone that any violent criminal act against any person because of their race, ethnicity or national origin is a hate crime,” said Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker, of the FBI Atlanta field office. “This includes violence toward Asian Americans 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.”
There is a significant disparity between hate crimes that actually occur and those reported to law enforcement. It is critical to report hate crimes not only to show support for the individual(s) directly impacted, but also to send a clear message that the community will not tolerate these kinds of crimes. Reporting also enables law enforcement to fully understand the scope of the problem in a community and assign resources toward preventing and addressing crimes of bias and hate.
Attorney General William Barr and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband have called upon department prosecutors throughout the country to watch for hate-motivated acts of violence. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911. If you believe you have been the target or victim of a hate crime or other violation of your civil rights, please contact the FBI Atlanta Field Office by calling (770) 216-3000 or submitting a tip online at www.tips.fbi.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.