COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act
This bill requires a designated officer or employee of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to facilitate the expedited review of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) hate crimes and reports of COVID-19 hate crimes.
It defines COVID-19 hate crime as a violent crime that is motivated by two things: (1) the actual or perceived characteristic (e.g., race or ethnicity) of any person, and (2) the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID-19 of any person because of that characteristic.
The bill requires DOJ to issue guidance for state and local law enforcement agencies on how to establish online hate crime reporting processes in multiple languages and how to expand culturally competent education campaigns. Additionally, DOJ and the Department of Health and Human Services must issue guidance on best practices for mitigating racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID-19 pandemic.