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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

Places in Washington DC

Norton Sends Letter to D.C. U.S. Attorney on LGBTQ Hate Crimes

Jul 19, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released her letter to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie K. Liu, with questions regarding the prosecution of hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals in the District.  The letter comes after Norton heard numerous concerns from constituents at her recent community forums about the uptick in hate crimes targeting LGBTQ residents and an apparent lack of prosecution of those crimes.

In her letter, Norton writes: “As you may know, the number of reported hate crimes in the District of Columbia almost doubled between 2016 and 2018.  Many of these crimes were targeted at the LGBTQ community, especially transgender individuals.  At a recent well-attended community forum, I learned that this community feels it is under siege.  I agree.”

The full letter is below:

 

The Honorable Jessie K. Liu

United States Attorney

District of Columbia

555 4th Street NW

Washington, DC 20001

Dear United States Attorney Liu:

            As you may know, the number of reported hate crimes in the District of Columbia almost doubled between 2016 and 2018.  Many of these crimes were targeted at the LGBTQ community, especially transgender individuals.  At a recent well-attended community forum, I learned that this community feels it is under siege.  I agree. 

            As you are well aware, it takes only a few prosecutions to create a deterrent effect.  I ask you to respond in writing within 30 days of the date of this letter to the following questions regarding hate crime prosecutions by your office in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to date:

  1. How many hate crimes were reported to your office?
     
  2. What percentage of hate crimes reported to your office were committed against LGBTQ individuals?
     
  3. What percentage of hate crimes reported to your office were prosecuted, and what percentage of such hate crimes were committed against LGBTQ individuals?
     
  4. Of the hate crime prosecutions, what percentage led to convictions, whether by plea or trial, and what percentage of such convictions were for crimes committed against LGBTQ individuals?
     
  5. For those reported hate crimes you did not prosecute, why did your office decline to prosecute?

I appreciate your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Eleanor Holmes Norton

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