PREVENTING HATE CRIMES INFORMATION. The Attorney General has available brochures in nine languages on how to identify hate crimes, how to report hate crimes and the services available to victims of hate crimes.
Rapid Response Protocol. In August of 1999, the Attorney General issued a Rapid Response Protocol to assist in the investigation, identification, arrest, prosecution and conviction of those who commit hate crimes. The protocol will ensure an immediate deployment of California Department of Justice resources when a hate crime occurs involving serious injury, death or significant destruction of property. Department resources to be made available to assist local and federal law enforcement agencies include: forensic services, intelligence specialists, profilers, criminal and civil rights attorneys, and support for victims of hate crimes.
Attorney General's Civil Rights Commission on Hate Crimes. A special commission was established in 2000 by Attorney General Lockyer to explore the under-reporting of hate crimes, a concern raised by both law enforcement agencies and civil rights groups. Commission chairs were Joseph McNamara, nationally recognized police practices expert and former San Jose Chief of Police, and Edward James Olmos, actor and community activist. The Commission held nearly two dozen regional meetings throughout the state to gather information to assist it in developing recommendations. A final report, Reporting Hate Crimes, was issued in March 2001 detailing findings and 16 recommendations on how to improve the reporting of hate crimes. The Attorney General's Office has been compiling annual hate crime statistics reported by law enforcement agencies since 1985.
Education & Outreach. To help educate the public on civil rights laws and hate crime prevention, the Civil Rights Enforcement Section meets regularly with the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations Network Against Hate Crime, the Orange County Human Relations Hate Crime Network, the Bay Area Hate Crime Investigators Association, the San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition, and the Greater Sacramento Area Hate Crimes Task Force. Additionally, the Civil Rights Enforcement Section is involved in the training of law enforcement. As part of community outreach and law enforcement training, the Attorney General in May 2000 sponsored a statewide conference on hate crimes at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The Attorney General also unveiled the Hate Crimes Prototype Database, an investigative tool that will help local law enforcement agencies in California to more effectively track and solve hate crimes.
Defending Anti-Hate Crime Laws. On August 9, 2002, Attorney General Lockyer filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in Virginia v. Black. This case addresses the constitutionality of Virginia's "cross-burning" statute, which prohibits the burning of a cross on public or private property, if done with the intent to intimidate any person. The Virginia Supreme Court held that this statute violates the free-speech guarantee of the First Amendment.
OTHER PROJECTS. The Civil Rights Enforcement Section is actively involved in other hate crime projects, including: the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission Network Against Hate Crime, the Orange County Human Relations Commission Hate Crimes Network, the Greater Sacramento Area Hate Crimes Network, and the Bay Area Hate Crimes Investigators Association.