PITTSBURGH – United States Attorney Cindy Chung released the following statement today for Martin Luther King. Jr. Day.
“Each year, America honors the life and vision of a great American: the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King’s lifelong dedication to justice, equality, and service for the greater good inspires us today and every day.
“The examples set by Dr. King and other civil rights leaders instilled in me a desire to serve the community and do my part to protect the civil rights of all citizens. This led me to work as an official corruption prosecutor in New York City, then as an attorney prosecuting criminal violations of civil rights at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and then doing the same work here in Pittsburgh as an Assistant United States Attorney.
“It is now my great privilege to lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. This office is committed to the vigorous, fair, and impartial enforcement of the civil rights of all persons, particularly the most vulnerable members of our society.
“Civil Rights Crimes: We are enhancing collaboration with our local and state law enforcement partners, and with our community groups who work and see victims on a daily basis — victims who are often hesitant or fearful to report these crimes. Prosecuting these civil rights cases — hate crimes, criminal excessive force and other official misconduct, and human trafficking — are among our highest priorities.
“Non-Criminal Measures: Criminal laws are just one tool — we cannot solely rely on prosecutions to achieve these goals. Thus, we are also increasing our use of non-criminal measures, like training and legal action, to fight unfair treatment, discrimination, and sexual harassment in the areas of employment, housing, education, public accommodation, and in ensuring that every eligible voter can cast a vote. If you are interested in hosting a civil rights training, please contact our office.
“Finally, our office is also prioritizing reentry, turning our attention to the success of people returning to our neighborhoods after confinement. Our re-entrants face many barriers and we are committed to supporting them through efforts such as our specialized re-entry court and Veterans Court.
“Today, we honor Dr. King’s legacy and those who continue to do Dr. King’s work to guarantee equal rights and freedom for all.”