The FBI just released that 2016 was the second year in a row that hate crimes have gone up nationwide. 2017 may be the third.
In Chicago, Illinois, there have been 39 hate crimes just in the first half of 2017. The Police Department has been keeping electronic records of hate crimes since 2012. Since then, Chicago’s on the pace to hit a record high of hate crimes by the end of 2017. This shouldn’t be the pattern the nation or our city should be facing. Want to know how you can fight this disturbing trend? Watch the video to learn more.
Illinois citizens are protected under the state’s hate crime act which states:
Hate crime occurs whether the person who commits it does so by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals.
Effective of Jan 1, 2016 transgendered people are also protected under this law. Gender identity is now a protected provision under sexual orientation. The new law also extends protections to institutions who may be targeted because of sexual orientation or gender identity status.
Because of these protections, I was able to help a lesbian woman Danielle, who was assaulted by an apartment building security guard. The assault took place on the common grounds of Danielle’s girlfriend’s apartment complex. The security guard had continuously harassed the couple because of their lesbian status.
One night while Danielle was sitting on the steps saw alone talking on the phone, the security officer standing over six feet tall and weighing almost 285 pounds approached Danielle who stood 5’1, and weighed a mere 110 pounds. After Danielle asked the security officer to remove the light from her eyes, he turned it off and struck Danielle on her temple with the flashlight, while uttering a gay slur at her.
He later offered a defense that Danielle looked like a boy. Our civil right attorneys in Chicago identified other witnesses who came forward to support this animus the security guard had towards the lesbian community. As a result, this case settled with significant compensation for Danielle.
As hate crime and violent lashing out has become increasingly common, know that there are remedies and legal protections for such wrongful behavior, both criminal and civil. Many times, people don’t come forward because they are not sure whether what happened to them is a hate crime, or people aren’t sure if the law will guarantee them protection. But it always helps to discuss these matters with a professional and experienced civil rights trial attorney.
The Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. has won over seven figures for cases involving discrimination & civil rights cases. If you are watching this video because you have your own questions or concerns about hate crime, civil rights or discrimination, call us at 1-312-384-1920 or 1-800-693-1LAW. Our Chicago-based civil rights lawyers are here for you.