LOS ANGELES – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after news reports of an attack on Jewish diners outside of a Beverly Grove restaurant last night.
“I’m appalled by what appears to be an anti-Semitic attack at a Beverly Grove restaurant last night. The reports and videos of what happened are disturbing and distressing. Everyone in our community should feel safe and respected. No matter one’s political views, we can never condone hate crimes and hate incidents. According to the FBI, Jews are the top targets for hate crimes. I expect a thorough investigation of the attack last night and that the hateful perpetrators will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
In April, Congressman Lieu introduced the Stop Hate Crimes Act, legislation that changes the federal hate crimes law. Hate crimes are often difficult to prosecute because courts have interpreted the federal statute to require that prosecutors show the victim’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other protected characteristic was the sole reason for the crime. The Stop Hate Crimes Act provides a solution to this onerous standard. Under this legislation, a prosecutor can charge the crime if the victim’s protected characteristic was a contributing motivating factor in the defendant’s actions. This new standard comports with the common sense principle that defendants can commit crimes for multiple reasons. The Stop Hate Crimes Act, which is cosponsored by 22 Members of Congress, will ensure that those who commit hate crimes will be held to account.
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