PHOENIX, Ariz. – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona held its first United Against Hate event yesterday, at the First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. The event provided an opportunity for an informative and interactive discussion with community leaders from the Phoenix African-American community. Approximately 60 invited guests and community leaders attended the event, focused on establishing a dialogue and increasing community understanding and reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents.
The event, planned as the first in a series, is part of the Department of Justice’s United Against Hate initiative. The program seeks to help local community members have a better understanding of hate crimes and how to report them to law enforcement. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland recently announced the nationwide launch of the initiative and the District of Arizona had previously been chosen as one of the original 16 cohorts to help launch the program.
“Upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all Arizonans lies at the very core of the Justice Department’s mission,” said Gary Restaino, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. “I am honored that my office was selected as part of the first wave to launch this initiative. My office is deeply committed to working with community members and leaders, our law enforcement partners, and other organizations to combat hate crimes.”
Yesterday’s event featured a panel discussion comprised of community leaders, moderated by DOJ’s Community Relations Service. The panel discussion allowed attendees to hear directly from leaders in the community, who shared their thoughts, concerns, and experiences with hate crimes and incidents. The event also included presentations from the FBI, the Phoenix Police Department, and members of the United States Attorney’s Office. Presenters provided interactive presentations, video clips, and hypotheticals to highlight the difference between hate crimes and incidents, emphasize the importance of reporting unlawful acts of hate, and explain the role that local and federal law enforcement play in hate crime and incident investigations.
The District of Arizona will hold additional United Against Hate events in the coming months to engage with communities across the state. These events will further encourage collaboration, support hate crimes prevention efforts, and encourage more Arizonans to report hate crimes and hate incidents.
RELEASE NUMBER: 2022-218_United Against Hate Event
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/
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