Politics

Bishop Talbert Swan Named To State Hate Crimes Task Force In Massachusetts


Esteemed civil rights activist Bishop Talbert Swan, president of the Greater Springfield NAACP, has been named to the Massachusetts state hate crimes task force. 

Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill to create the task force in August 2021. Its purpose is to advise state leaders on issues relating to hate crime, its prevalence, ways to prevent it, and how to best support victims, U.S. News & World Report reported.

The task force is also charged with promoting “full and effective cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies and communities affected by hate crimes” to help improve prevention, investigation, and prosecution and to develop best practices related to technical assistance for school districts that may seek to incorporate hate crime education into their curricula.

The task force will also recommend policies to ensure state and local governments provide enhanced support for victims of hate crimes and their communities; aiding law enforcement agencies in reporting hate crimes, including assistance in gathering, analyzing, and publishing hate crime data; and recommending appropriate legislation, regulations, policies or procedures to help better combat it.

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The task force must include representatives of victim assistance agencies, advocates for communities affected by hate crimes, individuals with expertise, and representatives from state, local, or university police departments.

Swan, was the most recent person to be appointed to the task force. A prelate of the Church Of God In Christ, he serves as the Bishop of the Nova Scotia Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in Canada. The Church Of God In Christ is a Pentecostal-Holiness Christian denomination with a predominantly African American membership, more than 12,000 churches and 6.5 million-plus members in the U.S.

The task force is made up of 25 members, 19 of whom are appointed by Baker, Mass Live reported. 

Swan said he looks forward to finding ways to prevent hate crimes, support victims, and ensure law enforcement is held accountable for properly investigating hate crimes.

Photo: Bishop Talbert Swan, III speaks at the March on Washington, Aug. 28, 2020, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, on the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)



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