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Federal law enforcement leaders affirm importance of civil rights amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 1:40 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 16:40:56-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott and FBI Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan criticized discrimination and acts of hate targeting racial, ethnic and religious minorities.

“The majority of hate crimes go unreported,” said U.S. Attorney Scott. “Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, victims are encouraged to report bias-motivated crimes. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are ready to investigate and vigorously prosecute hate crimes so that all people can live their lives freely and without fear.”

“Hate crimes are not only an attack on a victim; these violent acts threaten and intimidate an entire community,” said Special Agent in Charge Ragan. “For this reason, investigating hate crimes is one of the FBI’s highest priorities and the FBI Sacramento Field Office continues unabated in our pursuit of offenders.”

Attorney General William Barr and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband have called upon department prosecutors to watch for hate-motivated acts of violence.

U.S. Attorney Scott and Special Agent in Charge Ragan urge communities within the Eastern District of California to take the following steps to protect racial, ethnic, religious and other minority community members from bias and hate:

· Encourage reporting of all incidents of bias and hate.
· How to report hate crimes. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, call 911. Then, report the crime by calling the FBI Sacramento Field Office at (916) 746-7000 or submitting a tip online at www.tips.fbi.gov .
· Use language supported by public health officials when referring to the global pandemic and the precipitating virus.
· Disseminate accurate COVID-19 information within professional and social networks.