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Ken Gunn 312.744.1545
The Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) is calling for thoughtful responses and constructive dialogue in the aftermath of the recent torture and beating of a young man with a developmental disability. CCHR Chairman and Commissioner Mona Noriega stated, "We are deeply saddened by this vicious act. We commend the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office for the swift assistance to the victim, arrests and pursuit of hate crime charges, among others, in this case."
Commissioner Noriega added, "Hate crimes against anyone are unacceptable, and must be investigated and prosecuted with diligence and urgency. The CCHR will continue to work with the Police, State's Attorney's Office, schools, faith leaders and all of our community partners to educate the community about hate crimes and to develop strategies to limit the occurrence of these kinds of reprehensible acts."
The CCHR serves as the civil rights agency for the City of Chicago. The agency works proactively to prevent hate crimes by providing human relations workshops on topics including bullying, conflict resolution, and hate crimes, and facilitates peace circles. Programs are available for youth and adults through CCHR's work with schools, faith institutions, and other community groups. The CCHR also assists victims of hate crimes by accompanying them to court proceedings to provide support and information about the criminal court process. CCHR staff also work to mobilize community support for victims, and provide social service referrals. In addition to its hate crime and education work, the CCHR mediates community tensions; and investigates and adjudicates complaints of discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit. For information about scheduling a CCHR workshop for your school or organization, please call 312.744.2571.
Chairman Noriega concluded, "This act does not reflect all of Chicago residents, nor does it take away from the giving spirit that defines most of who we are. Much progress has been made to overcome the divisions that typically divide us. We must not give in to polarization, and we must continue to speak out against all acts of hate, against anyone, by anyone."