Battling hate crimes was the topic of a gathering led by the Anti-Defamation League Tuesday night.
The public forum held at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center follows a series of high-profile crimes in New Orleans that are being investigated as hate crimes.
For example a rainbow flag was recently stolen from a couple’s home in the Warehouse District.
And there have been several attacks on gay couples in the French Quarter.
Experts with the Anti-Defamation League say purpose of the forum was to educate the public about hate crime law and tools communities need to fight hatred before a hate crime is committed.
“You don’t want to be working with your public officials and law enforcement on these issues when the first time an incident happens. You want to have those relationships in place,” said David Barkey with the Anti-Defamation League. “That’s best to address those issues whether it’s having a hate crime task force or liaison with law enforcement.”
Organizers hope the forum was the beginning of a long community dialogue.