Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today passed S. 937: The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which would require the Justice Department to designate an officer to expedite review of COVID-19 hate crimes and provide guidance to state and local law enforcement agencies on collecting and reporting data on these hate crimes. It would also provide a definition of these hate crimes. The passage of the bill comes as incidents of violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have surged in cities across America.
U.S. Conference of Mayors President Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released the following statement in support of The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act:
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an alarming rise in violence and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in communities across the country, triggered by misinformation about Asian responsibility for the pandemic. The position of mayors across the country is clear: nobody should feel unsafe or be discriminated against in their own communities. It’s incumbent upon us all to stand up for America’s values and let it be known that we will not tolerate racism, xenophobia or violence directed at our neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin or their heritage.
“America’s strength must be grounded in inclusion, and this legislation is a step towards ensuring that principle is upheld. America’s mayors applaud Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Senate for passing The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, and we look forward to seeing President Biden sign this bill into law.”