Federal lawmaker introduces bill to fight hate crimes

Threat comes as bill is filed to fight hate crimes

ATLANTA -- A lawmaker in Washington D.C. has introduced a piece of federal legislation that would fight the increase in hate crimes across the country.

Tuesday a Jewish Center in Atlanta dealt with its second bomb threat just this year.

“We must not let this threat deter us,” said CEO Jared Powers of The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

In a statement to 11Alive News that was the message from the CEO of The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, a JCC dealing with its second bomb threat in just three months.

There have been more than 100 threats across the country since the start of 2017.

Officials in Missouri are investigating a similar threat Wednesday at a JCC in St. Louis.

These threats come on the heels of a string of them this weekend at JCC’s in the U.S. and Canada.

These are the kind of acts that have U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut pushing a bill to crack down on the uptick in hate crimes.

The bill introduced Wednesday would incentivize law enforcement to submit complete reports on hate crimes.

There would also be grant money to fund state run hate crime reporting hotlines, and the bill would allow hate crime victims to sue in civil court even in states where there is not a hate crime law.

Twitter lit up on Wednesday afternoon with the #NoHateAct as people supported Blumenthal’s bill.

That includes U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson who represents the 4th District in Metro Atlanta.

Johnson tweeted Wednesday, “Everyone in America deserves to feel safe. #NoHateAct will combat nationwide surge in hate crimes.”

On March 7th, a bomb threat was called into an Atlanta location of the anti-defamation league.

Blumenthal cites a 7% increase in hate crimes nationwide since 2015, but he thinks there are probably more cases because of underreporting.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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