WASHINGTON, DC – Attorney General Brian L. Schwalb today released the below statement urging District residents to report incidents of hate crimes or bias-motivated violence to the Office of the Attorney General and to unite against antisemitism and Islamophobia:
“While the conflict in the Middle East continues to unfold, hate crimes are on the rise across our nation, and the District of Columbia is not immune from this disturbing trend. Since October 7th, our community has been rocked by incidents of anti-Palestinian and anti-Jewish bigotry, including on our college campuses. As the District’s elected Attorney General, I am committed to fighting against antisemitism and Islamophobia and using the law to combat hate in all of its ugly forms.
To be clear, the District of Columbia does not tolerate discrimination or targeted violence against anyone based on their religious beliefs or ethnic identities. Those who engage in this despicable conduct are subject to heightened criminal penalties, as well as civil prosecution under the District’s Bias-Related Crime Act. The Office of Attorney General will not stand by while individuals or communities are subjected to violence and fear tactics aimed at who they are, where they are from, or what they believe. I urge District residents to contact OAG’s Civil Rights Section at OAGCivilRights@dc.gov to report instances of hate crimes or bias-motivated violence.
Over 700,000 people strong, the District of Columbia is the proud home to a diverse community with a wide range of religious beliefs and ethnic backgrounds. People from around the globe travel here to live, learn, work, and play – a source of pride and a badge of honor for Washingtonians. The recent escalation of hatred and incitement of violence toward Palestinian and Jewish communities violates our core values and denies our shared humanity. We must engage with one another respectfully and work to support and understand each other regardless of our religious beliefs or ethnic identities.”
Residents who experience or witness hate crimes or bias-motivated violence should also immediately report them to the Metropolitan Police Department by calling 9-1-1.