ST. LOUIS – U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming and FBI St. Louis Special Agent in Charge Richard Quinn want to educate the public on the definition of a federal hate crime and encourage those with information about those crimes to report them.
A federal hate crime is a violent act motivated by bias towards a person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI urge the community to report all incidents where a federal hate crime may have occurred.
“Whether it is a hate crime or any other form of discrimination, the act is reprehensible and has no place in our society,” said U.S. Attorney Fleming. “We must prosecute those who commit these crimes.”
“Investigating hate crimes is the top priority of the FBI’s Civil Rights Program,” said Special Agent in Charge Quinn. “Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices has special agents who specialize in investigating these crimes, and we are dedicated to holding accountable those who commit these heinous acts.”
People with information about a possible federal hate crime are encouraged to contact FBI St. Louis at (314) 589-2500.
The Department of Justice announced, in March, a 30-day “expedited review” plan to determine how best to use all the tools at the agency’s disposal to combat hate crimes. The focus is not just on increasing criminal investigations and prosecutions; the DOJ is also considering ways to improve federal hate crime reporting and tracking, to better utilize civil enforcement authorities to address other unlawful acts of bias, and to engage more effectively with victimized communities across the country, among other goals.