Denver, CO, March 3, 2014 -- Responding to reports of vandalism against members of the East African immigrant community living in Fort Morgan, Colorado that have included reports of broken car windows and racial slurs painted on vehicles, Scott L. Levin, Mountain States Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, issued the following statement:
"ADL condemns acts of vandalism that target any community and send a message that they are not welcome in Colorado. Hate crimes have harmful effects that extend far beyond the individual victims.
When a person is targeted for a crime because of his or her race or national origin, the entire group of people who share that victim's characteristic may feel intimidated, vulnerable, and unsafe. Here, it is especially heinous that such acts allegedly targeted immigrants who had sought refuge in this country from violence in their home countries. We applaud law enforcement in Fort Morgan for taking these incidents seriously and investigating them as possible hate crimes. If officials determine that bias-motivated crimes were committed, we urge them to prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent permitted under Colorado's hate crimes law."
[The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.]