The Wyoming Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will gather testimony on hate crimes during a public meeting to at Casper College on Friday.

The committee will hear testimony about the sufficiency of equal protection laws in Wyoming, the prevalence of bias-related incidents, the prevalence of hate groups, and barriers that may prevent law enforcement from addressing bias-related crimes.

Committee Chairman Dr. Robert Byrd said this offers Wyoming residents an opportunity to learn about hate-motivated incidents and crimes.

"We as a committee want to fully explore and understand hate crimes in Wyoming," Byrd said. "Then, perhaps, we as Wyomingites can consider a way to move forward that enables law enforcement, legislators, and state government officials to address these incidents, if any, which may exist in the State of Wyoming."

The committee will hear public comment at 11:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. It also will accept written comments at by Dec. 1.

After testimony is received, the committee will report its findings and recommendations to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Other state committees are conducting similar work.

This is the agenda for the meeting:

Opening Remarks and Introductions

Panel 1 -- 9:30-10:30 a.m.:

  • Dennis and Judy Shepard, founders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
  • Scott Levin, regional director, Anti-Defamation League.

Panel 2 -- 10:45-11:45 a.m.:

  • Kai Wiggins, policy analyst, Arab American Institute.
  • Michael McDaniel, creator, Wyoming Hate Watch.
  • Sergio Maldonado Sr., Northern Arapaho Tribe-Mexican American

Open Comment -- 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.


Panel 3 -- 1:45-2:35 p.m.:

  • Nate Martin, executive director, A Better Wyoming.
  • Rev. Steve Mack, NAACP of Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming.
  • Karlee Provenza, executive director, Albany County for Proper Policing.

Panel 4 -- 2:50-3:45 p.m.:

  • Capt. Shane Chaney, Casper Police Department.

Open Comment: 3:45-4:00 p.m.

More From Laramie Live