Board Passes Hate-Crimes Ordinance Making Little Rock First in Arkansas With Such a Law

Updated : 2020-07-10Source :
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On Tuesday, Little Rock became the first city in Arkansas to adopt a hate-crimes ordinance that enhances penalties for crimes that target individuals because of their race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.


The City Board of Directors unanimously approved the measure at Tuesday’s board meeting. Such crimes now carry fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense; jail time of 30 days, 90 days or one year or a combination of fines and jail time. Offenders will be required to undergo supervised release for up to a year. The ordinance is applicable to people 18 or older.


Arkansas is one of four states that does not have statewide legislation addressing hate crimes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. said he hopes the Little Rock ordinance will serve as inspiration for other Arkansas municipalities.


“I want to thank City Director Kathy Webb for her leadership on this issue,” Scott said. “This legislation recognizes the value of every person as we work to unite Little Rock. I hope other cities will see it as a model and follow suite.”