Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden expands civil rights team due to recent hate-motivated incidents


Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden announced Monday the addition of civil rights prosecutors at the district and superior court levels due to recent hate-motivated incidents in Massachusetts and concerns about increased business activity in the months and years to come. Among the factors behind Hayden’s decision were the four white supremacist actions held in Boston this year, a demonstration by neo-Nazi groups at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston last year, the recent Supreme Court rulings, upcoming midterm and presidential elections and statistics showing increasing levels of hate crimes across the nation, Hayden’s office said. “It is clear to me that Massachusetts and Boston have become target destinations for groups that spread hate. We saw it on Independence Day weekend with the Patriot Front march in Boston and this weekend with the NSC-131 rally in Jamaica Plain. It’s also clear to me that Boston is full of passionate, engaged citizens who care deeply about current affairs and aren’t shy about expressing their views. I want to make sure everyone involved in the broad public forum of ideas can do so without being hurt by others and without causing harm to anyone,” Hayden said. The High Risk Victims Unit, which handles civil rights and hate crimes cases in addition to crimes against the elderly and victims with disabilities, will now be called the Civil Rights/High Risk Victims Unit. Hayden is adding two new prosecutors – one charged with prosecuting civil rights cases in Suffolk Superior Court and the other with handling those cases in district and municipal courts. This approach is designed to better coordinate and prosecute cases of civil rights and hate crime crimes and misdemeanors. Hayden noted recent reports of hate literature appearing in Danvers, Hamilton, Ipswich and Chatham, this month’s homophobic graffiti at an LGBTQIA plus friendly housing project in Hyde Park and a report by the Anti- libel in March showing Massachusetts had the fourth-highest level of hate propaganda activity in the nation in 2021. He also pointed to the ongoing repercussions of the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the possibility of social strife in this year’s congressional elections and the 2024 presidential election. The four white supremacist incidents in Boston this year include the neo-Nazi protest at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in February, the NSC-131 rally at the parade Patrick’s Day in South Boston in March, the Patriot Front March earlier this month, and the NSC-131 protest in Jamaica Plain on Saturday. “We have deep divisions in our society today and groups willing to exploit these divisions for their malignant ends. We also have a constitutional duty to protect freedom of expression, until it turns into threats or violence. I want to make sure my office is vigilant in applying the law fairly and fully prepared when prosecuting people who violate anyone’s personal rights,” Hayden said.

Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden announced on Monday the addition of civil rights prosecutors at the district and higher court levels due to recent hate-motivated incidents in Massachusetts and concerns about increased crime. business activity in the months and years to come.

Among the factors behind Hayden’s decision are the four actions organized by white supremacists in Boston this year, a demonstration by neo-Nazi groups at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston last year, the recent Supreme Court rulings, upcoming presidential and midterm elections and statistics showing increasing levels of hate crimes across the country, Hayden’s office said.

“It is clear to me that Massachusetts and Boston have become target destinations for groups that spread hate. We saw it on Independence Day weekend with the Patriot Front march in Boston and this weekend with the NSC-131 rally in Jamaica Plain. It’s also clear to me that Boston is full of passionate, engaged citizens who care deeply about current affairs and aren’t shy about expressing their views. I want to make sure everyone involved in the broad public forum of ideas can do so without being hurt by others and without causing harm to anyone,” Hayden said.

The High Risk Victims Unit, which handles civil rights and hate crimes cases in addition to crimes against the elderly and victims with disabilities, will now be called the Civil Rights/High Risk Victims Unit.

Hayden is adding two new prosecutors – one charged with prosecuting civil rights cases in Suffolk Superior Court and the other with handling those cases in district and municipal courts. This approach is designed to better coordinate and prosecute cases of civil rights and hate crime crimes and misdemeanors.

Hayden noted recent reports of hate literature appearing in Danvers, Hamilton, Ipswich and Chatham, this month’s homophobic graffiti at an LGBTQIA plus friendly housing project in Hyde Park and a report by the Anti- libel in March showing Massachusetts had the fourth-highest level of hate propaganda activity in the nation in 2021.

He also pointed to the continuing repercussions of the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol and the possibility of social unrest in this year’s congressional elections and the 2024 presidential election.

The four white supremacist incidents in Boston this year include the neo-Nazi protest at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in February, the NSC-131 rally at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston in March, the Patriot Front march more earlier this month and the NSC-131 protest in Jamaica Plain on Saturday.

“We now have deep divisions in our society and groups willing to exploit those divisions for malign purposes. We also have a constitutional duty to protect freedom of expression, until it turns into threats or violence. I want to make sure my office is vigilant in applying the law fairly and fully prepared when prosecuting people who violate anyone’s personal rights,” Hayden said.

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