Dear Reader,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this today.   Recently, crowds of mourners gathered in a Chicago suburb to mourn the death of Wadea Al-Fayoume—a 6-year-old who was brutally murdered in a hate crime.  The incident has sparked outrage and grief across the community and around the world, with some community members attributing the incident to rage over the Israel/Hamas War.

At the vigil held for young Wadea, a representative from President Biden’s Administration delivered a statement aimed at conveying the administration’s commitment to fighting against hate and discrimination.  However, it inadvertently added fuel to a budding fire, escalating the already tense mood of those in attendance, several of whom began to yell and had to be escorted out.

Eventually, the crowd reconnected with why they were there: to honor the life and lost potential of an innocent child cut down because of hate.   A moment of silence was held.  A prayer was said, and for a few moments, a divided community came together in acknowledgment that no one should suffer the hate-fueled fate dealt to young Wadea.

This heart-wrenching story is a stark reminder that hate crimes continue to plague our communities. Hate crimes are manifestations of a toxic mentality that festers in the minds of those who commit them. These acts of violence are rooted in prejudice, fear, and anger. The perpetrators of hate crimes are often radicalized by extreme beliefs and ideologies, which push them to commit acts of violence against anyone they perceive as different.

As a community, we cannot tolerate this.  Hatred and violence solve nothing.  Instead, we must strive for understanding, empathy, and peaceful dialog.  This is the only way we can resolve our differences and find common ground.

I have seen the devastating consequences of hate crimes and the damage they inflict on individuals and the surrounding community. My heart goes out to the family of young Wadea and to all those affected by this tragedy.

In his honor, let us reflect on how we can encourage and strive for a world where understanding and acceptance prevail over hatred and violence.

It is my hope for you and our community that we peacefully coexist. But if you, or someone you care about, is ever forced to live through something like this, I’d encourage you to seek legal counsel.  The guilty should be held accountable.

Lastly, if you or someone you love is ever injured or killed due to a violent or negligent act, please reach out to my office.  I will be here to help in every way we can.

Call 703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515.


Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

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