Merrick Garland

Attorney General Garland Unveils New Initiatives to Combat Hate Crimes

The announcement comes as authorities investigate the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, as a hate crime

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Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday announced new initiatives aimed at combating hate crimes, days after 10 Black people were killed in the Buffalo mass shooting which authorities have described as "racially motivated violent extremism."

Garland unveiled the plan at an event marking the first anniversary of President Joe Biden signing into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which includes provisions from the Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Act to boost reporting of such crimes and law enforcement training. The legislation was enacted to help combat the rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic.

Among the Department of Justice initiatives is a plan to team up with the Department of Health and Human Services to establish new guidance aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes, the appointment of a full-time language access coordinator at the agency, and $10 million in grants to help communities confront as well as increase reporting of such crimes to the FBI.

The announcement was planned before the shooting on Saturday at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, in which 10 Black people were killed by a white gunman.

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