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Wed May 15, 2019, 05:51 PM

Seattle council member introduces bill to strengthen penalties for hate crimes

A Seattle City Council committee passed new legislation to strengthen penalties against hate crimes.

Councilmember Lisa Herbold has been pushing for the legislation as data continues to show an alarming spike in hate crimes.

"It can't simply be explained away by better reporting, there is actually something going on," said Herbold, who oversees Civil Rights issues as part of her council committee.

The legislation is backed by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and Mayor Jenny Durkan, who wrote "we cannot afford to wait" on strengthening the laws.

The new legislation would enhance penalties for misdemeanor crimes, such as low-level assaults, theft, and harassment, according to the City Attorney’s Office.


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