Justice Dept. March Targets Hate Crimes

Thousands rally in DC for more aggressive prosecution
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2007 3:19 PM CST
Rev. Al Sharpton (C) and Martin Luther King III (C-R) march around the Department of Justice to protest hate crime issues November 16, 2007 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Thousands of marchers converged near the Justice Department in Washington, DC, today, to protest what they say is a lax attitude toward prosecuting hate crimes. The marchers, led by Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, cited the Jena 6 controversy in Louisiana and a subsequent spate of incidents involving nooses or swastikas, the Washington Post reports.

The Justice Department said in a statement it is "deeply committed to the vigorous enforcement of our nation's civil rights laws," but many contend it has turned a blind eye to racially motivated crimes. "I feel that they're ignoring African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities, and treating us as if we're insignificant and don't need anything," said one protester.