WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today issued the following statement about the alleged hate crime and robbery that took place against a gay couple on U Street NW on Sunday, June 16, 2019:
“As Attorney General, my top priority is keeping District residents safe. My office works to break cycles of violence and crime, hold offenders accountable when they cause harm, and give victims a voice. We take violent crimes, especially hate crimes, extremely seriously. We are fully committed to the safety of our LGBTQ community and all the District’s communities that may be targeted by hate or discrimination.
“The alleged hate crime and robbery against the gay couple on U Street this past Sunday is deeply troubling and heartbreaking. Some members of the community were disheartened to learn that charges against the 19-year-old adult arrested in this case were dismissed. To clarify, that charging decision was not made by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. It was made by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia because that agency is the local and federal prosecutor for serious crimes committed by adults in our city.
“The Office of the Attorney General prosecutes crimes committed by juveniles under 18 years of age. However, District laws that protect the privacy of juveniles involved in the justice system prohibit us from sharing any information about specific juvenile criminal cases. That means we are not even allowed to disclose whether we are prosecuting a juvenile in a case.
“I want to do everything we can to ensure that all of our LGBTQ+ residents are safe and feel protected. As we expand our civil rights work on behalf of District residents, this summer we are inviting community members to join us at a series of listening sessions to share their experiences and provide input for how we develop civil rights priorities and initiatives for the office. The first two sessions will take place on July 9 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Woodridge Library (1801 Hamlin St. NE) and July 13 from 11:00am-1:00pm at Emery Heights Community Center (5701 Georgia Ave. NW). For more information contact OAGCommunity@dc.gov and RSVP HERE.”