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Matthew Shepard Foundation Holds Hate Crime Prevention Training in Orlando on Thursday

Photo: Matthew Shephard
Photo: Matthew Shephard

The Orlando Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office and City of Orlando in partnership with the Matthew Shepard Foundation are holding a hate crime prevention training tomorrow.

Local law enforcement officers, investigators and prosecutors will learn how to report hate crimes, collect related data and enforce hate crime laws at the in-person training.

Trainor Nadia Aziz of the Arab American Institute says the workshop comes on the heels of the Atlanta shooting and a rise in hate crimes throughout the nation.

“You know when an individual is targeted by bias it makes a difference whether that's acknowledged and whether or not it's charged as a hate crime.”

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Dennis and Judy Shepard, the parents of Matthew Shepard, and Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, will speak to participants virtually. 

“And they’re just inspiring people to hear from. They have really shown that through so much pain and suffering that love is stronger than hate. They show it every single day."

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Shepard was killed in an anti-LGBTQ hate crime in 1998 and Heather Heyer was killed at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.