On May 20, 2022, the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, the Department of Justice announced several new initiatives for investigating and prosecuting alleged hate crimes. Per the DOJ press release, these actions include:
- “Issuing new guidance with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Releasing grant solicitations for programs to create state-run hate crime reporting hotlines and to support community-based approaches to prevent and address hate crimes; and
- Hiring the Department’s inaugural Language Access Coordinator.”
The press release notes the recent surge in hate crimes committed against minority populations, especially the Asian American community and notes that the DOJ will release $10 million in grants to create programs to address and prevent hate crimes. The press release also lists several specific actions that the DOJ has taken “in response to a rise in hate crimes and hate incidents,” including creating and filling several new positions dedicated to pursuing hate crime investigations and prosecutions, adding new types of hate crimes, increasing prosecutions for hate crimes, and increasing funding for programs to investigate and prosecute such crimes at the state and local level.
Click here to read the DOJ Press Release.