AIR PicsUS Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced launching of a 30-day expedited review into how the Justice Department can bolster its efforts to prosecute hate crimes against Asian Americans.
In his first memo to employees since taking over the helm of the department earlier this month, Garland said he wants to find ways to improve reporting of hate crimes.
He said the recent rise in incidents requires renewed energy and emphasis on investigation and prosecution, increased community outreach, and the improved collection of data critical to understanding the evolving nature and extent of hate crimes and hate incidents in all their forms.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been raising alarm over rise in violence against them. According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, the incidence of hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by 149 per cent in 2020 in 16 major cities compared with 2019. The community’s fears were heightened by the fatal shooting of eight people on March 16 at Atlanta-area spas, six of whom were women of Asian descent.