Aug 30, 2013 3:42 PM by Faye DeHoff

Rep. Grijalva calls for 'joint investigation' of attacks on Sunnyside board member

TUCSON - In a news conference scheduled for 12:30 this afternoon, Democratic Representative Raul M. Grijalva will call for a joint investigation of the attacks on a Sunnyside School Board member.

In his remarks, Mr. Grivjalva says, "As a proud graduate of Sunnyside School District, I find myself deeply offended and disgusted by the malicious attacks being directed at Daniel Hernandez. In public life, we all endure some baseless personal attacks but the trend to malign political figures based on race, gender, or sexual orientation is unfortunately becoming a norm of campaigning which has no place in our democratic process."

"This trend is fueled by anonymous and cowardly groups and individuals who have turned politics and campaigning into an exercise of personal destruction. My campaigns have endured racist and personal attacks with increasing frequency and the anonymous parties responsible are never held accountable."

"As I saw this situation unfolded in the Sunnyside School District, it became apparent the abuse of Mr. Hernandez was not only politically motivated but also driven by hate and prejudice."

"Today, my office will ask the Pima County Attorney's office to fully investigate these recent attacks on Mr. Hernandez."

"We will also ask the Pima County School Superintendent's office to initiate an investigation into the matter."

"Finally, we will make an inquiry to the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI to assist the offices of the Pima County Attorney and School Superintendent in a vigorous investigation of the attacks as a hate crime."

"Mr. Hernandez is an openly gay man, and in this nation that is not a crime. The extension of rights and protections against hate crimes is afforded to him and all Americans."

"Political differences and opposition are part of the accepted realities of democracy but when the differences are manifested in anti-gay, vicious, and anonymous attacks we must draw the line. That is why accountability through a lawful investigation is not only needed but essential to the balance of decency in our civic and political life."

The news conference will be held at 12:30 at the Historic Y conference room at 738 N. 5th Avenue.


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