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CR (202) 616-2777



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "The indictment in this case marks an important step in our nation's ongoing efforts to root out violence and bigotry. The charges in this case strike at the core of what it means to live in America. What is perhaps most disturbing are the allegations that Hispanic children were a target of a cowardly attack, simply because of the color of their skin. Our constitution and laws protect the rights of all people to go about their daily lives free from intimidation and racial assaults.

"This indictment demonstrates the commitment of all law enforcement in Idaho--federal, state, and local--to ensure that those who use hatred and violence in an attempt to divide our communities will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This indictment is the product of an extensive investigation that was marked by extraordinary cooperation between federal and local law enforcement.

"The people of Canyon County can take pride and comfort in the professionalism and cooperative spirit of the FBI, the Nampa Police Department, the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney's office, the U.S. Attorney's office, and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

"I would like to specifically recognize the extraordinary efforts of Ed Hofkins of the Nampa Police Department, FBI Agent Ted Chester, John Bujak of the Canyon County Prosecutor's office, Assistant United States Attorney Wendy Olson, and Jerry Hogan of the Civil Rights Division. You have set the standard of excellence in law enforcement.

"Hate crimes reflect a cancer of the soul and have no place in our society. Combating hate crimes is one of the highest priorities of this Administration. Last year, the President convened a White House summit on Hate Crimes, which brought together federal, state and local law enforcement officials, community leaders, and victims of hate crimes themselves, in an effort to gain a better understanding of the problem, and to formulate an effective plan of action to attack this festering sore.

"The Attorney General recently launched a Justice Department initiative to fight hate crimes throughout the country. Regional task forces in U.S. attorney's offices have been set up to ensure that we are putting our best foot forward in combating hate crimes.

"The cooperative efforts of all law enforcement officials in this case embody the spirit of the Attorney General's hate crimes initiative. There is considerable work that remains in this case. However, the indictment in this case demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that equal justice under law truly means equal justice for all."

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