Federal Charges in Hate Crimes Targeting Arab American Woman
Washington, DC | May 4, 2007 | www.adc.org | This week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) charged a Philadelphia woman with committing a federal hate crime because she sent a violent and threatening letter to her supervisor at work. The DOJ and FBI investigated the incident as a civil rights violation because the threatening letter was an attempt to interfere with the supervisor‘s federally protected employment activity, contained the threat of force, and was indicative of apparent bias involving race, religion, and ethnicity.
According to DOJ, on October 2, 2006, Kia Reid, left an ominous and threatening letter in her supervisor’s office at a Philadelphia hotel. The letter included the phrases “Remember 9/11,” “you and your kids will die like dogs,” “tie onto the fence,” “death,” and other references to death and hanging. The victim, whose identity has not been disclosed, is still fearful for her safety and the safety of her children.
The victim, an Arab-American Muslim woman, contacted the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). ADC brought the incident to the attention of the Civil Rights Unit at FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC. After an investigation, Kia Reid was charged with committing a federal hate crime and faces a maximum term of one year in prison, a one-year period of supervised release, and a $100,000 fine.
ADC thanks the FBI and DOJ for their efforts to crackdown on anti-Arab and anti-Muslim incidents. FBI statistics indicated that 11 percent of hate crimes motivated by religious bias target Muslims. More than 30 percent of all reported hate crime offenses in 2005 involved intimidation similar to this case.