Despite increasing arrests, hate crime prosecutions in DC at lowest point in a decade. Council hearing tomorrow to find out why.

Tomorrow, October 23, the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety will hold a public hearing on hate crimes in the District of Columbia and the failure to prosecute by the US Attorney’s Office. The Committee will also consider public testimony on two bills that propose banning so-called LGBTQ “panic defenses” in criminal proceedings.

Where: 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW | Room 412
When: Wednesday, October 23 beginning at 10 am
More information:

In August, the Washington Post published a report outlining how prosecutions using hate crime sentencing enhancements have plummeted. Despite 113 arrests in bias-motivated crimes in the past two years, the US Attorney’s Office prosecuted only five as hate crimes, with two of those ending with a plea deal. The US Attorney, who is the Presidentially-appointed federal prosecutor for the District, has not yet responded to an invitation to testify before the Committee.

“DC’s LGBTQ residents are being attacked because of bias and hatred against who they are, yet prosecutions using hate crime enhancements are almost non-existent. That is a very distressing message to send to victims and survivors and the broader community,” said Councilmember Charles Allen, who chairs the Committee.

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