CHICAGO LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE OFFERS ASSISTANCE TO HATE CRIME VICTIMS
For Immediate Release: September 2001
For further information: Betsy Shuman-Moore, Attorney and Project Director - Project to Combat Bias Violence (312) 630-9744
Chicago, September 2001…Betsy Shuman-Moore, Attorney and Project Director, Project to Combat Bias Violence, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc., reaffirmed today the availability of the Committee’s pro bono legal assistance to anyone in the Chicago metropolitan area who thinks he/she may be a victim of hate crime or bias of any kind. Concerned citizens may contact Ms. Shuman-Moore at (312) 630-9744, or email@example.com.
Under the Illinois Hate Crime Act, a person commits a hate crime when s/he commits a crime by reason of the actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or gender of another individual or group of individuals. Assault, battery, and criminal damage to property are the most common predicate crimes charged as hate crimes. Also, more serious crimes or felonies may be bias-motivated, such as arson or murder.
Since 1989, the Committee has provided thousands of hours of free legal help to victims of hate crime, working in collaboration with the Cook County State’s Attorney, Chicago Police Department, Chicago Commission on Human Relations, and many others.
The Committee’s pro bono legal assistance includes legal counseling and representation. In criminal court, Committee attorneys work with police and prosecutors to advocate for arrests and strong prosecutions, and in civil court they represent victims who want to sue offenders for compensatory and punitive damages.
The Committee offers public education in communities across the metropolitan area; trains law enforcement and other professionals, and advocates for policy changes, to improve enforcement and promote sensitive and fair treatment of victims. It also helps community groups develop and implement localized action plans that demonstrate support for neighborhoods free of violence and bigotry. The Project is the only comprehensive resource in the Midwest for hate crime survivors.
For 32 years, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, through its 40plus member law firms and staff legal team, has provided free legal services to challenge discrimination and other violations of civil rights in both the public and private sectors. For further information about the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, contact
The Project to Combat Bias Violence initiates an outreach campaign to the Chicago area Arab and Muslim population in the wake September 11th backlash crimes. The Project presents information hate crimes, harassment, discrimination, racial profiling, and unreasonable interrogations at meetings convened by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Muslim Bar Association, and Muslim Americans for Civil Rights and Legal Defense, the Mosque Foundation, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, Northwestern University Law School, Center for New Community, the Illinois Center for Violence Prevention, Governor's Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes, and federal civil rights officials.