Attorney General Nessel launching new hate crimes unit

Posted at 12:23 PM, Mar 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-10 06:39:41-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has officially launched a new hate crimes unit within the Criminal Division of the department.

The Criminal Division is in charge of investigating and prosecuting hate crimes.

Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani has been tasked as the lead prosecutor in the unit and Special Agent David Dwyre has been named lead investigator.

Doddamani is a career prosecutor with more than 15 years of experience prosecuting violent felonies and hate crime.

“Hate itself is not a crime and our civil liberties protect the right to speak about even the most terrible of things,” said Nessel. "But when a criminal offense is committed against a person or property and it is motivated by an offender’s bias against a particular group, then my Office will act. To do that we intend to work with both federal and local authorities to ensure these crimes are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent possible under the law.”

The Department of the Attorney General says they will follow-up on every credible tip and launch independent investigations when they have sufficient cause.

“Hate crimes are not just an attack on a specific individual but a message to an entire group,” Nessel added. “That’s why they’re so damaging to communities and why we need to partner with our local authorities if we hope to eradicate them. I’m happy to have the opportunity as Attorney General to put a spotlight on this important issue.”

If you are a victim of a hate crime or have credible information about a hate crime, contact the Department of Attorney General at (313) 456-0180.