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Attorney General Announces Multimillion-Dollar Grants to Help Combat Hate Crimes

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Justice Department has announced new guidelines, including grants and other steps to raise awareness about hate crimes across the country.

The announcement came after the shooting at a Buffalo, New York grocery store that left 10 African Americans dead.

The department is investigating the Buffalo massacre as a hate crime, and an act of "racially motivated violent extremism." 

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland pledged the DOJ was "deploying every resource we have to ensure accountability" for the massacre of 10 Black people at the Tops Buffalo supermarket.

"Last weekend's attack was a painful reminder of the singular impact that hate crimes have not only on individuals but on entire communities," Garland told an audience that included Black and Asian American community leaders Friday. The attacks "bring immediate devastation, they inflict lasting fear," he said.

The attorney general unveiled new guidelines to help local jurisdictions raise awareness of hate incidents and announced $10 million in new grant funding to help states establish hotlines for reporting crimes.

"I am pleased to announce that the department is releasing $10 million in grants solicitations for new programs to address hate crimes," Garland said. "Five million dollars of this grant funding was authorized under the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act. These grants will support better hate crime reporting to the FBI and will fund states to establish and run reporting hotlines for victims of hate crimes. The other $5 million will go to supporting community-based approaches to preventing and addressing hate crimes."

Garland acknowledged Friday's event was long-planned and said no more reminders were needed for the urgency of "our fight against hate."

"If it's possible to even further redouble our efforts, something like this can only cause us to do so," he said.

As CBN News has reported, besides the mass shooting in Buffalo, other alleged hate crimes have been investigated across the country. 

A Spate of Hate Crimes in Recent Months

Earlier this month, on the same weekend as the Buffalo massacre, a gunman motivated by hatred against Taiwan chained shut the doors of a California church and hid firebombs before shooting at a gathering of mostly elderly Taiwanese parishioners, killing Dr. John Cheng, who tackled him. 

The suspect, David Chou, 68 was reportedly upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan. A federal hate crimes investigation is also ongoing.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes called Cheng's heroism "a meeting of good versus evil" that probably saved the lives "of upwards of dozens of people."

In late March, a parolee convicted of killing his mother nearly 20 years ago was arrested on charges including felony assault as a hate crime, in an attack on an Asian American woman in New York City. Police said they believe Brandon Elliot, 38, is the man seen on surveillance video kicking and stomping the woman near Times Square. 

The woman identified as Vilma Kari, 65, was reportedly on her way to church. She was discharged from the hospital after being treated for serious injuries.

Earlier in March, two suspects in the slaying of a black Navy veteran who was a youth pastor and father were charged with murder and hate crimes. The murder took place at a Chevron gas station in Tracy, California.

In February, we reported that hate crimes against Jewish people in New York City soared by 275% in January compared to the same time last year, according to statistics released by the New York Police Department.

Just a few days before the NYPD report was released, yeshiva school buses were tagged with Swastika graffiti and a Jewish man dressed in Hasidic attire was ambushed from behind, according to Fox News

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