Hate Crimes Have No Place in America
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement today on co-sponsoring H.R. 4204, the Local Law Enforcement
Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2004, which Congressman John Conyers
(D-MI) introduced yesterday:
proud to join Congressman Conyers, the Ranking Democrat on the Judiciary
Committee, as a co-sponsor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes
Prevention Act of 2004.
individuals are targeted for violence because of their race, sexual
orientation, religion, national origin, gender, or disability, the
assailant intends to send a message to all members of that community.
That message is -- you are not welcome. Passage of this bill would
counter this message of intimidation with a strong statement that
our society does not condone and will not tolerate hate-based violence.
All Americans have a right to feel safe.
continue to demonstrate a high level of hate crimes in our country.
Current law limits federal jurisdiction to 'federally protected'
activities such as voting and does not permit federal jurisdiction
over violent crimes motivated by bias against the victim's sexual
orientation, gender or disability.
state and local law enforcement do not have the capacity to prosecute
hate crimes, this legislation would permit federal prosecution regardless
of whether a federally protected activity is involved. This legislation
would also allow federal jurisdiction over crimes motivated by bias
against sexual orientation, gender or disability. It increases the
ability of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to
work together to solve and prevent a wide range of violent hate
crimes have no place in America. The brutal murders of James Byrd
in Texas, Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, Waqar Hasan in Texas, and
Gwen Araujo in California serve as a constant reminder that Congress
must provide the tools to prevent and prosecute such crimes."