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D.A. Conducts Hate Crime Symposium
Richmond, TX
   
 
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Richmond, TX – District Attorney Brian M. Middleton issued a proclamation earlier this month condemning hate incidents and hate crimes in Fort Bend County. Middleton hosted a symposium on hate crimes yesterday afternoon, May 28, 2020, which was organized by the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Citizen Engagement Committee.

 

The Citizen Engagement Committee was created by Middleton and is facilitated by the United States Department of Justice, Community Relations Service. The Citizen Engagement Committee includes Farha Ahmed, Chairwoman, Ian Scharfman, Vice-Chairman, Ross Torres, Secretary, and board members Michael Milstead, Amina Ishaq, Stephen Brown, Ashish Agrawal, Jay Patel, and Monica Riley. 

 

The purpose of the symposium was to address current events that are racially charged: prejudice towards Asian-Americans due to the corona virus being mischaracterized as the “Chinese virus,” and the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

 

Panelists included (1) Senior Associate Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Southwest Regional Office Dena Marks, (2) Past-President OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates Greater Houston Cecil Fong, (3) Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant United States Attorney Sharad Khandelwal, and (4) Harris County Special Crimes Bureau Chief Ruben Perez who were invited to answer questions the public had raised as pressing concerns.

 

The symposium addressed the application of federal and state laws, the role of the panelists’ organizations, examples of misconduct based in prejudice, and resources available where the public can learn more.

 

During the symposium, Middleton denounced the hate crimes directed at Asian Americans and the actions of Minneapolis Officer Chauvin which led to the death of Houston native George Floyd. Middleton asked viewers to look in the mirror to find the identity of America, appreciate our similarities, and remain true to the tenets upon which our country was founded.

 

Middleton stated, “I want to thank our esteemed panelists for sharing their time and wisdom with our audience, as part of my promise to utilize best practices to ensure that justice is achieved in our criminal justice system. The symposium allowed for the free flow of ideas, concerns, and expectations of the public.”

 

“I am committed to keeping Fort Bend County safe,” continued Middleton.  “We are better together because our similarities outweigh our differences, and we are all humans deserving of fair and equal treatment.”

 

The District Attorney’s Citizen Engagement Committee was formed to more easily connect the District Attorney’s Office to the public and includes representatives from both the office and the community. 

 

The symposium can be viewed in its entirety along with invaluable comments at https://www.facebook.com/fortbendcountyda/videos/3445758795648718/.

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