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Archive for November 1st, 2021

DOJ to Provide $21M to Combat Rising Rate of Hate Crimes

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department will award law enforcement agencies with more than $21 million to help investigate and prosecute hate crimes. 

The announcement last week came amid an alarming rise in reported hate crimes. 

“Hate crimes instill fear across entire communities. They have profoundly negative and unacceptable effects on our society,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a statement. “The department is committed to using all tools at our disposal to combat unlawful acts of hate. These awards will provide state, local and tribal agencies additional support and critical resources to address hate crimes and their far-reaching effects.”

Thursday’s announcement coincided with the 12th anniversary of the enactment of the Mathew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The act empowers the Justice Department to prosecute hate crimes, even if law enforcement can’t show that the vicim was engaged in a federally protected activity. 

“Acts of violence and destruction motivated by hate and bias cause lasting harm to victims, terrorize entire communities and divide our nation, leaving deep scars and stalling the march toward equal justice,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon of the Office of Justice Programs. “We must work together to bridge the gaps of empathy, root out intolerance in all its forms and send a clear message that the future belongs to every American, no matter what they look like, how they worship and whom they love.”

FBI Failed to Act on Detailed Tips about Violence Ahead of Jan. 6 Riot

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies received a plethora of detailed and credible tips about potential violence on Jan. 6, but they failed to act ahead of the insurrection, The Washington Post reports.

In one case, the FBI received a tip on Dec. 20 that supporters of then-President Trump were discussing ways to sneak in guns to Washington D.C. to “overrun” police and kidnap members of Congress. Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican whom Trump often criticized, was one of the targets. 

The tips continued to come in, many that were very specific and detailed, but the FBI failed to act. 

While the FBI passed the information to law enforcement agencies in Washington, agents didn’t pursue the threats themselves. 

“The individual or group identified during the Assessment does not warrant further FBI investigation at this time,” an internal bureau report concluded at the time. 

Despite all of tips, top officials wrongly suspected that the biggest threat was for violence between Trump supporters and Trump opponents. 

“The paralysis that led to one of the biggest security failures in the nation’s history was driven by unique breakdowns inside each law enforcement agency and was exacerbated by the patchwork nature of security across a city where responsibilities are split between local and federal authorities,” The Post wrote.