By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Federal prosecutors, the FBI and the Anti-Defamation League will host an online discussion today about hate crimes and discrimination, in light of the recent spike in crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

The discussion starts at noon and is open to the public. Pre-registration for the WebEx event is required, and translation services will be available upon request.

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“Violent acts motivated by bias are not only an attack on the victim, but also threaten and intimidate an entire community and are contrary to our values of equality for all Americans,” Kristi Johnson, assistant director in charge of the FBI Los Angeles Division, said in a statement.

The virtual discussion will give assistant U.S. attorneys a chance to discuss with civilians the difference between hate crimes and hate speech and what is involved in a criminal hate crime, from complaint to conviction. Representatives from the FBI will also share hate crime statistics, local hate crime investigations and how they partner with local law enforcement.

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Federal officials say they hope the discussion will empower members of the community with more knowledge about reporting hate crimes and how authorities investigate those reports.

“Hate crimes are message crimes telling victims that they are not safe or welcome in their communities,” Ariella Loewenstein, deputy regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. “It is incumbent upon all of us to send a countervailing message of inclusivity and safety for all.”

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Anyone with knowledge of a hate crime or incident involving bias or discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation can report it to the FBI. Tips can be made to the FBI Los Angeles Field Office at (310) 477-6565 or online at tips.fbi.gov. Reports of discrimination in public places, housing, lending, education, employment, or voting can be filed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office by calling (213) 894-2879, sending an email to USACAC.CV-CivilRights@usdoj.gov or submitting this form(PDF).