Interfaith Alliance Supports Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act

May 1, 2003

Source: The Interfaith Alliance News

On May 1, 2003 The Interfaith Alliance News reported that "the Interfaith Alliance joined a diverse coalition of law enforcement, civil rights and religious organizations in support of the re-introduction of the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act... 'At a time when hate crimes are all too prevalent, political leaders must stand with our communities to make it clear that neither hate nor violence is a traditional religious or American value; both are antithetical to democracy and true spirituality,' [said the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance]... Current law permits federal prosecution of a hate crime only if the crime was motivated by bias based on race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity, and the assailant intended to prevent the victim from exercising a 'federally protected right.' The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would expand federal jurisdiction to reach violent hate crimes committed 'because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability' of the victim. It would also remove the current restriction that a victim be engaged in a federally protected activity. The law would empower federal prosecutors to act in concert with local police and provide funding to these officials to assist with investigations."