Shepard/Byrd Act Brochure
Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hate crime based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the FBI may be able to help you.
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 gives the FBI authority to investigate violent hate crimes, including violence directed at the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
This new federal civil rights law criminalizes willfully causing bodily injury (or attempting to do so with fire, a firearm, or other dangerous weapon) when:
(1) the crime was committed because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, of any person, or;
(2) the crime was committed because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person, and the crime affected interstate or foreign commerce, or occurred on federal property.
If you or someone you know is a victim of a hate crime, or if you have direct knowledge of such a crime, please contact your local FBI office (see below). This new law protects all persons equally regardless of immigration status. Reporting the incident to the FBI is a necessary step to ensuring justice for all victims of violent hate crimes.