March 18, 2021

Duckworth to DOJ and FBI: Take Immediate Steps to Prevent & Improve Investigations of Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today sent letters to FBI Director Christopher Wray and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging them to direct their agencies to take immediate action to strengthen federal criminal investigations, law enforcement and prosecution of federal criminal cases against perpetrators of Asian American hate crimes.

In her letter to Wray, Duckworth wrote: “Now is the time to mobilize nationwide the full force of Federal law enforcement’s capacity and capability to prioritize identifying, investigating and arresting perpetrators of domestic terrorism, hate crimes and other violent and threatening acts against the AAPI community. The United States Government must be strong and resolute in demonstrating there will be zero tolerance for such hate and that perpetrators of such threats and crimes against Asian Americans will be aggressively hunted down by law enforcement authorities.”

The Senator requested that Wray direct the National Joint Terrorism Task Force to accelerate and enhance efforts to prioritize identifying, investigating and arresting suspects seeking to commit violent crimes targeting members of the AAPI community and establish a centralized domestic intelligence hub to collect information on threats and violence. Duckworth’s full letter to FBI Director Wray can be found here.

In her letter to Garland, Duckworth wrote: “The spike in anti-AAPI hate is a dire – and deadly – national crisis. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) must bring to bear the full force of its resources and authorities to investigate and prosecute these heinous crimes. Punishment must be swift, severe and certain to deter these purveyors of hate from acting on their prejudices in the form of violent threats and violent acts against Asian Americans.”

Specifically, the Senator asked Garland to establish a “strike force” to aggressively build federal criminal cases against perpetrators of AAPI hate crimes and strengthen DOJ guidance to every U.S. Attorney addressing how to effectively enforce all appropriate federal statutes related to anti-AAPI crimes. Duckworth’s full letter to Attorney General Garland can be found here.