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Warner & Kaine Applaud Signing Of Anti-Hate Crime Bill, Including Provisions Of Heather Heyer No Hate Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded President Biden’s signing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, legislation cosponsored by Warner and Kaine, into law. The law is designed to counter the recent trend of violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. It includes provisions of the Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Act, cosponsored by Warner and Kaine last Congress to improve hate crimes reporting and expand assistance and resources for victims of hate crimes. 

“Today, President Biden and Congress send a clear message: bigotry is wrong; violence won’t be tolerated; and hate has no place in America,” said the senators. “Almost four years after her murder, Heather Heyer’s legacy endures in this law combating racism and supporting the victims of hate. May we be like Heather by always standing up for justice, and may we strengthen our communities by embracing our differences and holding prejudice accountable.”

The provisions included from the Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Act will:

  • Improve Reporting of Hate Crimes: This legislation will support the implementation of and training for the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), the latest crime reporting standard, in law enforcement agencies without it. This will allow law enforcement agencies to record and report detailed information about crimes, including hate crimes, to the FBI. 
  • Encourage Law Enforcement Prevention, Training, and Education on Hate Crimes: This legislation will provide support to law enforcement agencies that establish a policy on identifying, investigating, and reporting hate crimes, train officers on how to identify hate crimes, develop a system for collecting hate crimes data, establish a hate crimes unit within the agency, and engage in community relations to address hate crimes in that jurisdiction.
  • Establish Hate Crime Hotlines: This legislation will provide grants for states to establish and operate hate crime hotlines, record information about hate crimes, to redirect victims and witnesses to law enforcement and local support services as needed.
  • Rehabilitate Perpetrators of Hate Crimes through Education and Community Service: This legislation will allow for judges to require individuals convicted under federal hate crime laws to undergo community service or education centered on the community targeted by the crime.

The Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Act was partially named after Heather Heyer, a Virginian murdered by a white supremacist in Charlottesville in 2017. Hours before the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act passed the Senate in April, Senator Kaine spoke on the Senate floor in remembrance of Heather. The rest of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act directs the Department of Justice to accelerate the review of hate crimes by requiring the Attorney General to designate someone responsible for handling such crimes. According to a study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, hate crimes against Asian Americans rose nearly 150% in America’s largest cities last year. The law also mandates the issuance of guidance to state and local law enforcement on establishing a multi-lingual online system to report hate crimes.