On Friday (May 20), U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the allocation of $5 million towards hotlines that will be used to report any prejudice-motivated crimes. The move comes as the nation continues to reckon with the racially charged attack that killed 10 Black people in Buffalo, New York.
Garland said in a statement, "We will use every legal tool at our disposal to investigate and combat these kinds of hate crimes and their collateral impact that they have on the communities that they hurt."
The hotlines are one of several steps being implemented by the DoJ to aid reporting and prosecution of hate crimes. Garland said the Justice Department will release new policies to raise awareness about hate crimes and issue another $5 million for community-based efforts.
Steps to combat hate crimes were specified by legislation signed by President Joe Biden signed last year.
Aside from Buffalo, the FBI said its currently investigating hate crime incidents in Dallas and Southern California.
According to Reuters, the rate of hate crimes in 2020, the most recent year figures are available, was the highest in more than a decade.