The Justice Department is planning a harsher crackdown on anti-Semitic crimes.
Attorney General William Barr told Jewish community leaders Tuesday that he's "extremely distressed" by a recent increase in violence committed against Jewish people. He said, moving forward, the federal government will be prosecuting more hate crimes.
Laws concerning hate crimes vary by state. Some states — Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Wyoming — don't have hate crime laws at all.
Barr said, "These are the kinds of cases that maybe in the past would have been treated locally, but I think it's important for the federal government to plant its flag and show zero tolerance."
Barr also announced he's asked U.S. attorney's offices to reach out to Jewish communities and give community leaders more opportunities to report hate crimes.