(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/24/20)Â â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, todayÂ welcomed a hate crime charge brought against a man suspected of vandalizing a business in Lafayette, La., with hate graffiti.Â
James Verrett, 23, of Lafayette was arrested for simple criminal damage to property and hate crimes.
SEE: Lafayette man arrested for racial slur painted on Johnston Street hookah lounge
Lafayette man arrested for hate crimes in hookah bar vandalism
Earlier this month CAIR called for a hate crime investigation after the owner of Lux Hookah Lounge reported finding the words â€œSand N***** Clubâ€ spray-painted on the front of his business.
SEE: CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probe of â€˜Sand N*****â€™ Vandalism Targeting Louisiana Business
â€œWe welcome the hate crime charge in this case and hope it sends a message that bigotry will not be tolerated in Louisiana or anywhere in our nation,â€ said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. â€œWe thank the Lafayette Police Department for treating this incident with the seriousness it deserved and for the swift and professional response of its officers.â€
Under Louisiana law, State law (RS 14:107.2),Â â€œIt shall be unlawful for any person to select the victim of the following offenses against person and property because of actual or perceived race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry of that person or the owner or occupant of that property or because of actual or perceived membership or service in, or employment with, an organization, or because of actual or perceived employment as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel.â€
That law calls for a sentence of not more than $500 and/or not more than six months in jail for a misdemeanor hate crime.
Washington-based CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
SEE: CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probe of White Supremacist Ads Targeting Vermont Jewish Group
CAIR Condemns Utah N-Word Incident on MLK Day
CAIRâ€™s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.