The Department of Justice announced an all hands on deck effort to address hate crimes in the United States by establishing clearer lines of communication between federal law enforcement agencies investigating these criminal acts. The announcement comes in the wake of the shooting attack at the Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead and multiple people seriously injured.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein hosted a roundtable to discuss plans to increase funding, research, and technology. The DOJ hopes to improve communication and cooperation during hate crime investigations.
The US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania filed hate crime charges, along with 29 other federal charges against the perpetrator of Saturday’s attack. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed the media on Saturday calling for a hate crime investigation into the attack, saying, “These alleged crimes are reprehensible and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation.”
“Accordingly, the Department of Justice will file hate crimes and other criminal charges against the defendant, including charges that could lead to the death penalty,” Sessions added.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders broke into tears as she delivered her remarks at Monday’s White House Press Conference saying, “This atrocity was a chilling act of mass murder, it was an act of hatred, and above all, it was an act of evil.”
The usually peaceful Saturday morning service at the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh will never be the same. Observant Jewish congregants were joined in prayer. Their peace was broken as a shooter entered the service, shot and killed eleven people. The Pittsburgh Jewish community lost a couple, a grandfather, a brother, a mother, a brother, a sister, a friend, leaving an eternal hole for those of the synagogue and the nation, officials stated throughout the day.