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Forum on hate crimes law to occur on anniversary of Matthew Shepard attack
PHOENIX – United States Attorney Dennis K. Burke will hold a Civil Rights Forum focused on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community Wednesday, October 6, 2010 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. It will be at the ASU Mercado in downtown Phoenix. The public is encouraged to attend.
At the forum, Burke will talk about the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act signed into law last year by President Barack Obama. He will also discuss how victims can report hate crimes and official police misconduct.
The date of the forum coincides with the anniversary of the fatal attack on gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard. He was brutally beaten and tortured after meeting two men in a Laramie, Wyoming bar late on the night of October 6, 1998 and died days later. Shepard was targeted because of his sexual orientation.
“We hold community sessions like this to inform people of their rights,” said Burke. “The Department of Justice has a duty to protect the civil rights of all individuals from hate crimes or law enforcement misconduct. I feel strongly people should have confidence to report violations to this office.”
The forum will bring together local community leaders, the U.S. Attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to discuss the Department of Justice’s role in civil rights matters. For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/az/.
WHAT: Civil Rights Forum focused on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
WHO: U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis K. Burke, FBI representatives and local community leaders.
WHEN: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: ASU Mercado, Room C-145, 502 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix.