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Advocates renew push for North Carolina hate crime bill
Legislation co-sponsored by Charlotte lawmakers
Published Wednesday, August 28, 2019 6:52 pm
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

Advocates are pushing North Carolina lawmakers to vote on a hate crimes bill that includes sexual orientation, training for law enforcement and prosecutors and creation of a State Bureau of Investigation hate crimes database.

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Activists with an eye on the 2020 Republican National Convention and rising hate crimes on the rise in North Carolina – and nationwide – are demanding expansion of North Carolina’s minority protections.

Senate Bill 209 and House Bill 312 – The Hate Crimes Prevention Act – would expand the state’s hate crimes law to include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity and disability. It would also require creation of a hate crime-reporting database at the State Bureau of Investigation and hate crime training for law enforcement and prosecutors.

The bill’s primary Senate sponsors are Democrats Jay Chaudhuri (Wake), Valerie Foushee (Orange) and Mujtaba Mohammed (Mecklenburg). Rep. Nasif Majeed, a Charlotte Democrat, is co-sponsor of the House bill.

“Since the last presidential election cycle, there has been a steady increase in the number of hate crime incidents both in Mecklenburg County and across North Carolina,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP President Minister Corine Mack said. “The rhetoric from the White House and the upcoming Republican National Convention, are setting the stage for a potential dramatic rise in hate crime incidents in Charlotte.  Passage of Hate Crimes Prevention Act would send a clear message to deter those who might be inclined to violent actions based animosity against race, creed, and color.”  

The FBI in a 2018 report on hate crimes – motivated by race, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability – up 17 percent nationally. Reports of hate crimes in North Carolina were up 12 percent in 2017. There were 166 known hate crimes in North Carolina that year, up from 148 the previous year.

“Going into the last presidential election cycle, hate crime incidents based on sexual orientation nearly doubled in our county,” Mack said. “But hate crime protections do not extend to our LGBTQ community under the current state law.  This bill would not only add to existing protections against hate crimes bases on race, ethnicity, and religion, but would also extend hate crime protections to include our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”


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