Jul 28, 2014

County Executive To Attend Senate Hearing on Hate Violence

Chris Abele will submit testimony about the impact the shooting had on the Milwaukee area and the need to find solutions to prevent another tragedy from happening.

County Executive To Attend Senate Hearing on Hate Violence

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will be among those attending Wednesday's U.S. Senate hearing on violent extremism, held in the wake of the Aug. 5 shootings at the Oak Creek Sikh temple.

Abele will also submit testimony about how Milwaukee County came together after the attack, as well as the need to explore solutions to prevent another tragedy from happening, according to remarks released Tuesday in advance of the hearing.

"The deadly and senseless shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin last month had a big impact on our community and the nation. It was not only an act of extreme violence; it was also an inexcusable act of evil. All these weeks later it is still difficult for me to put into words my sorrow," Abele says in the testimony.

"Over the past decade, ignorance and hate has repeatedly contributed to the targeting of Sikh Americans. The Oak Creek temple shooting serves as a stark reminder that hate crimes and extremism are too often part of our daily lives and that we must remain vigilant and speak out when those around us spread hate and ignorance."

Wade Michael Page was long involved in white supremacist groups before he entered the Oak Creek gurdwara (Sikhs' place of worship) and killed six people and wounded four others.

The New York-based Sikh Coalition says Wednesday's hearing, which begins at 1:30 p.m. central time, is the first Congressional hearing on the threat posed by domestic extremists.

The committee will also hear from Harpreet Singh Saini, whose mother was killed in the attacks, and national Sikh community leaders.

The hearing will be held before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, chaired by Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, and streamed online.

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