In a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) today, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to investigate whether antisemitism was a motive in the recent Dion Marsh violence spree. Below are excerpts of Smith’s remarks at today’s press conference in Lakewood:
“Special thanks to law enforcement for acting decisively and professionally in arresting Dion Marsh and charging him with multiple crimes allegedly committed in Lakewood and Jackson on Friday including three counts of attempted murder, carjacking, weapons possession, and three counts of bias intimidation—the latter raising serious concern that antisemitism may have been a motive.
I respectfully ask the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI to determine whether any federal laws were broken including hate crimes acts as found in 18 U.S. Code § 249.
Above all, we pray that the victims recover after this hideous assault.
As co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task force for Combating Antisemitism, I am deeply concerned that this pernicious hate—often resulting in violence—is escalating.
Silence is not an option.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Jews are “consistently the most targeted religious community in the U.S. and antisemitic incidents are being reported at record levels.”
The most recently available FBI hate crimes statistics shows that in 2020—despite being approximately only 2.4 percent of the U.S. adult population—55 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes were against Jews.”