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Justice Department launches 30-day review of how to better combat hate crimes

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Attorney General Merrick Garland has launched a 30-day “expedited review” to figure out how the Justice Department can “deploy all the tools at its disposal” to combat hate crimes across the country, according to a memo released Tuesday.

The effort comes on the heels of a rise in hate crimes and hate incidents — specifically against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Some areas Garland highlighted for improvement include: better tracking for reported hate crimes that might violate federal law, enhancing the available tools available to respond to hate crimes, assessing whether budgets need to be increased for linguists and other resources that engage with communities that face hate crimes.

“While this effort remains ongoing, the Department will continue to seek justice for the victims of the hate-fueled mass murders that we have seen too many times in the past several years — killings that have shaken our communities, torn at our social fabric, and undercut our most basic values,” Garland said in the memo.

Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin and other top officials within the Justice Department will lead the review until the Senate confirms Lisa Monaco and Vanita Gupta in their roles.

The internal memo to Justice Department officials is a change in tone from the previous leadership under former Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and William Barr, who parroted many of former President Donald Trump’s controversial and inaccurate talking points.

Prior to Garland’s Senate confirmation, Carlin and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Pamela Karlan made separate statements in February to denounce the increased bigotry and hatred across the country.

Carlin emphasized that the uptick in violence against Asian Americans are “horrific.”

Karlan said that the Civil Rights Division has trained “hundreds of federal prosecutors and law enforcement officers to identify, investigate, and prosecute hate crimes and other civil rights crimes.”

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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