SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bishop Talbert Swan, the President of the Greater Springfield NAACP has been appointed to the State’s Hate Crimes Task Force. 22News learned about this new role.

This task force will focus on advising on issues related to hate crimes and now Bishop Swan has been chosen by the governor for the role.

This is a new version of the task force through an act put in place last year. A hate crime according to the FBI is an offense like murder or arson where a person is motivated in whole, or part, by their bias against race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation for example.

This task force will focus on advising when it comes to the prevalence of these crimes. How to prevent them, and the best ways to support the victims.

Bishop Swan said this in a statement:

“Given the fact that Black Americans have been the most frequent victims of hate crime in every tally of bias incidents as documented every year since the FBI began collecting data in the early 1990s, I am eager to work with other members of the Hate Crimes Task Force…”

He added he is looking for ways to prevent hate crimes and ensure law enforcement is held accountable for properly investigating these crimes.

In the FBI’s most recent hate crime report from 2019 almost half were committed by people motivated by anti-black or African American bias.