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Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK R. HERRING

~ On the General Assembly’s failure to update Virginia’s hate crimes definition and provide Commonwealth’s Attorneys with additional support in prosecuting hate crimes ~

RICHMOND (January 28, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today released the below statement following the General Assembly’s failure to pass two of his hate crimes and white supremacist violence bills out of subcommittee. HB2472 was the last chance this year to add gender, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation in a long overdue update to Virginia's hate crimes definition. HB2227 would have given the Office of the Attorney General the ability to prosecute hate crimes through the Commonwealth’s network of multijurisdictional grand juries and would have provided Commonwealth's Attorneys with additional support in prosecuting these types of crimes. Both bills died in subcommittee on a party line vote.

 

“Once again, the General Assembly has failed to pass this update to Virginia’s outdated definition of a hate crime that would have given needed protections to members of the LGBT community, Virginians with disabilities, and women,” said Attorney General Herring. “Legislators continue to show time and again that they are not concerned with protecting those who are directly affected by the rise in hate crimes and hateful rhetoric that we are seeing in communities in Virginia and across the country. 

 

“Hate crimes are oftentimes underreported and under prosecuted and giving my office the ability to prosecute hate crimes would have provided additional tools and support for Commonwealth’s Attorneys who are handling these types of crimes. I want anyone who feels unsafe because of this rise in hate to know that I will continue to do all that I can to protect them, even when legislators in Richmond fail to do so.”

 

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