Statement of Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman on Anti-Asian hate crimes and bias acts
Seattle (STL.News) Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald M. Voiret highlighted the federal role in countering hate crimes and bias acts—especially those targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
“Currently federal prosecutors and the FBI are reviewing two cases involving assaults on our Asian-American neighbors that have been charged by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman. “These crimes, and other acts of hate and bias, have no place in our community. I urge members of our community to report hate-based crimes to either local or federal law enforcement and to contact our office’s civil rights line with information about discrimination in areas like housing, employment, education, or public accommodations.”
The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office review information about potential hate crimes from members in the community and also provide assistance to local, state, and tribal law enforcement with investigations of hate crimes. Office personnel have been reaching out to community groups to explain the federal role and encourage reports to local and/or federal law enforcement.
“The FBI is tasked with enforcing criminal civil rights in the U.S. and may initiate hate crime investigations when credible allegations exist of a federal statue violation,” said Donald M. Voiret, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Office. “Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to emphasize that a criminal act against Asians, because of their ethnicity or national origin, is a hate crime. The FBI will use all authority under federal law to investigate and bring the offenders to justice.”