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Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Issues Statement on Ethnic Intimidation at Temple Beth El Synagogue


Lansing, MI—John E. Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR), today issued the following statement on the filing of ethnic intimidation charges in response to the incident on Friday, Dec. 2 at the Temple Beth El synagogue in Oakland County, Michigan.

"No one should have to worry about ethnic intimidation at their place of worship or anywhere else. On Friday, people in Oakland County’s Temple Beth El synagogue – including small children – came face to face with hate. While we are grateful no one was physically hurt in this incident, we must respond quickly and forcefully wherever and whenever people are targeted with hate. We are grateful for the quick response of the Dearborn Police Department in taking the individual responsible into custody, and for the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney for bringing these charges."

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is charged with investigating and resolving complaints of discrimination and working to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws. The Department also provides training and services to government agencies, businesses, schools and organizations on diversity initiatives, fair housing and equal employment law. MDCR is the operational arm of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC). Learn more about MDCR and MCRC at

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