2005 NEWS RELEASES, PRESS ADVISORIES AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS

USCCR IMPLORES JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO INVESTIGATE HATE ALLEGATIONS

Las Vegas Residents Allege Racist Flyers, Dead Animals Left at Private Homes

Washington, DC - The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights urged the Justice Department to investigate whether the National Alliance, a white separatist organization, placed dead animals and fliers at the homes of two Japanese American residents in Las Vegas. The individuals complained to the Commission that a flyer was left at the front door of one resident, and a dead rat nearby. In another incident, a dead cat was allegedly left in a driveway two days after a flyer had been delivered. If the National Alliance performed the acts, doing so may constitute a crime.

A letter signed by USCCR staff director Kenneth L. Marcus referenced earlier correspondence from its Nevada State Advisory Committee to the Justice Department's FBI office in Las Vegas, which stated in part: "We request a thorough investigation of these incidents ... and would like to receive a report from you that describes ... what steps federal officials are taking." All six members of the Commission voted to advance the request.

Hate crimes laws prohibit violent and intimidating acts of racial, ethnic and religious hatred that interfere with federally protected rights, such as housing, employment, voting and public services. The FBI's jurisdiction pertaining to hate crimes is primarily based on federal statutes including: Title 18, United States Code (USC) Section 241 (Conspiracy Against Rights); Title 18, USC Section 245 (Interference with Federally Protected Activities); and Title 42, USC, Section 3631 (Criminal Interference with Right to Fair Housing). In 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available from Justice, nearly 7,500 hate crime incidents were reported to U.S. law enforcement agencies, nearly one-half based on race, and the remainder primarily on ethnicity or national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. The FBI's role in civil rights investigations dates back to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

05/24/05