ADC Demands Hate Crime Investigation into Chapel Hill Shooting
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | February 11, 2015 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is deeply saddened by the news that three young Arab-Americans were shot and killed last night in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The three victims, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were all shot and killed, execution style, while in their home. ADC expresses it sincerest condolences to the families of the victims.
In letters sent earlier today, ADC demanded that the Department of Justice and the Chapel Hill Police Department take immediate action and investigate this matter as a hate crime under the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Given the circumstances, there is a high probability that the shooter targeted the victims because of their religion and national origin. The two sisters wore hijab, the Muslim head covering, and all three victims were of Arab descent. ADC recently issued a community advisory warning of the rise of anti-Arab and Islamophobic sentiment in the United States. The advisory followed a sharp increase in reported hate rhetoric following the release of the film American Sniper.
According to reports by the Independent, the shooter is an atheist who regularly posted negative and vile views about Islam and other religions. A recent post shows a picture of a loaded 38 revolver handgun – it is not known if this was the murder weapon. BBC News reported that the suspect who turned himself in is being charged with 1st Degree Murder.
If you are placed in physical danger because of your ethnicity, religion or national origin: Call the police (dial 911 in most communities), and/or click here to contact your local FBI office. It is the FBI’s job to investigate hate-motivated crimes and specific threats of violence. You can also report a hate crime to the FBI online using this form.
ADC will continue to monitor this situation. If you feel you have been a victim of a hate crime, please contact the ADC Pro Bono Legal Department at 202-244-2990 or email@example.com.
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