Lincoln City Council to hear proposal for ‘hate intimidation’ offense

People who commit acts of hate in Lincoln could potentially face a new charge, according to Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.
Hate

People who commit acts of hate in Lincoln could potentially face a new charge, according to Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.

Gaylor Baird said Thursday a proposal is set to go before the City Council to create a new offense under city code called “hate intimidation,” which could be charged to someone violating a city ordinance “with the intent to intimidate someone” based on a number of statuses including race, religion, age, and sexual orientation.

The announcement comes days after swastikas were found spray-painted on trees in Wilderness Park, and months after a swastika and other graffiti was found on the door of a Lincoln synagogue.

“Hate has no home in Lincoln,” Gaylor Baird said. “And we hope it is rarely used.”

If approved, the ordinance would give extra firepower to city prosecutors to charge people accused of hate crimes, said City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick.

“Just having it on the books alone I think sends a strong message about what the community stands for,” he said.

 

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