* November 8, 2009 * South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
After more than a decade of obstruction and delay, President Obama signed a landmark federal hate crimes law called the "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act." First introduced to Congress in 1997, this comprehensive law will provide federal, state and local law enforcement with powerful new tools to investigate, prosecute and counter hate-motivated violence.
The HCPA is a reflection of the magnitude of hate crimes. These offenses strike fear within victimized groups, polarize entire communities and tear at our nation's core values. Passage of this color-blind law, which protects any person victimized because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability sends the resounding message that hate-motivated violence is unacceptable. Photo -Prayer for Bobby - video
Supported by the most important law enforcement organizations and officials in the country, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National District Attorneys Association and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, the HCPA will provide for expanded federal involvement in investigating and prosecuting hate violence, and it will arm local officials with the resources to address these terrible crimes… Photo - Alan Turing
...Especially in these difficult economic times, HCPA equips Florida law enforcement with another important tool in their arsenal against hate. It will provide smaller law enforcement agencies with the financial resources to investigate violent hate crimes and to train their officers on how to investigate these offenses. And it will give the U.S. Department of Justice the authority to step in when local law enforcement refuses to investigate bias-motivated violence...
All photos not part of article Overdue hate crimes law a powerful tool - Bill means hate-motivated violence no longer acceptable – by Andrew L. Rosenkranz