U.S. attorney affirms commitment to investigating, prosecuting hate crimes

NEWARK, NJ — Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig and FBI Newark Field Division Special Agent in Charge George Crouch Jr. have reiterated federal law enforcement’s commitment to investigating and prosecuting all acts of bias-motivated violence and other deprivations of individuals’ civil rights, including crimes committed on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a March 30 press release.

“Some of the darkest hours that we have lived through recently as New Jersey residents have involved the horror of violence based on hate,” Honig said. “We have seen anti-Semitic violence in Jersey City and a gender- and race-based attack at the home of a federal judge. Now, we face a rising tide of hatred directed at Asian Americans. New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the country, and this kind of hate should find no home here. We urge the community to report hate-based crimes to the FBI and to contact our office’s civil rights hotline with information about discrimination in housing, employment, education or public accommodations.”

“Hate crimes are not only an attack on an individual, but an entire community,” Crouch said. “Investigating these crimes is one of the FBI’s highest priorities. We will work diligently with our law enforcement partners to protect the rights of all Americans.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey employs four assistant U.S. attorneys dedicated full-time to federal civil rights enforcement: three in the Civil Rights Unit of the Civil Division, and one senior civil rights counsel in the Criminal Division. The office works closely in these matters with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In the past several years, the office has brought multiple civil and criminal cases based on federal civil rights laws and has been recognized by the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys with two Director’s Awards for its work in this area. These assistant U.S. attorneys also conduct frequent community outreach, including outreach focused on organizations serving women, people of color, religious groups and the LBGTQ community.

Honig and Crouch urged all New Jersey residents to report hate-based crimes to law enforcement. Members of the public who have a civil rights concern or complaint should contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office through its civil rights hotline, which can be reached at 855-281-3339, or by filling out the form at https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/page/file/1073316/download. The FBI’s Newark Field office can be reached at 973-792-3000.