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Dubuque Hosts Hate Crime Forum Following Cross Burning


  Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice will join local officials in Dubuque Wednesday night for a public forum on hate crimes and bias. This follows a police investigation into two burned crosses found in Dubuque in April.

Pauline Chilton is with the non-profit group "4 the People," which has worked with community leaders for several years to engage people of diverse backgrounds. Chilton organized the forum to identify and address key issues related to hate crime reporting, investigation, prosecution, and prevention. 

Before the April cross burning, Dubuque police chief Mark Dalsing says there hadn't been a hate crime in the community since the 1990s.

Chilton didn't move to Dubuque until 2001, but says she's learned the community response was different this time. 

She says hundreds of people came together for a prayer and other gatherings to discuss the hate crime.

No arrests have been made in connection to the April cross burning, but police have identified a few persons of interest. They have sent evidence to the state crime lab and believe it was an isolated incident.

The public forum is free and will be held in Mindframe Theaters in Dubuque.

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