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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement to Commemorate the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement commemorating five years since President Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act. 

The law expands federal authority to investigate and ultimately prosecute hate crimes based on sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or gender identity, and supports prevention efforts by state and local law enforcement officials

“Hate and crimes based on hate cannot have any place in Brooklyn or anywhere else. This law, which I was proud to support as a member of the House of Representatives, establishes our belief in the dignity of each individual person and their right to full participation in our society. We cannot allow hate crimes such as the  attacks on Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., to continue. We will not allow such hate crimes to continue,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “I have been particularly concerned about reports of recent hate crimes at mosques and synagogues in Brooklyn. Such crimes are destructive to our civil society. I urge our local, state, and federal authorities to prosecute these crimes to the full extent of the law.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.