December 11, 2016
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Boston FBI Hosts Conference To Educate About Hate Crimes

 FBI Hosts Conference to Educate About Hate Crimes

BOSTON, MA—The Boston office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in coordination with the Department of Justice, hosted a community conference to educate law enforcement, prosecutors, and community organizations about enhanced federal statutory authority on civil rights. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 will be the focus of this meeting. Over 100 participants will come together to learn about investigating, prosecuting, and preventing hate crimes.

Hate crimes remain all too prevalent in our nation and investigating hate crimes is a high priority for the FBI. The FBI’s jurisdiction to investigate hate crimes was primarily predicated on four federal statutes. When The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 became effective as of October 28, 2009, it created a fifth statute. This legislation was signed into law by President Obama and was landmark because it was the first time in the history of this nation the federal government now has the authority to prosecute violent hate crimes, including violence directed at the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. This is the first expansion of federal criminal civil rights laws since the mid-1990s. This new law has a broader reach than preexisting hate crime statues, and effectively criminalizes violent acts when they occur because of actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person. The statute also protects a wider class of victims of hate violence motivated by the victim’s gender, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identify. Previous law required the government prove that a hate-motivated crime be committed to prevent a victim’s participation in federally protected activities, such as voting or attending school.

FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Boston FBI, Warren T. Bamford, will be on hand to welcome the participants along with MA United States Attorney (USA) Carmen M. Ortiz and Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez from Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. USA John P. Kacavas District of New Hampshire, USA Paula D. Silsby District of Maine, and Assistant USA Stephen Dambruch, Criminal Chief, District of Rhode Island will also be in attendance.

 

FBI Boston
Contact: Special Agent Gail A. Marcinkiewicz 
(617) 223-6110



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