Virginia's top prosecutor targets hate crimes - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Virginia's top prosecutor targets hate crimes

Virginia's Attorney General is targeting hate crimes tonight. (Scource: NBC12) Virginia's Attorney General is targeting hate crimes tonight. (Scource: NBC12)
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Virginia's Attorney General is targeting hate crimes tonight. Joined by community and faith leaders he announced new ways to beef up Virginia's laws to help curb the rise in hate crimes in the Commonwealth.

Hate crimes are up 21% in Virginia-- according to the latest FBI statistics.

“We can not allow Virginians to feel vulnerable and besieged,” said Herring.

Surrounded by faith and community leaders, Herring proposed new legislation to give prosecutors the authority to prosecute and investigate hate crimes in Virginia. He also wants to update the state's definition of a hate crime to include disability, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation.

“We will leave no doubt that we do not tolerate hate crimes in Virginia and we welcome all who call our commonwealth home,” he said.
  
There were 155 reported hate crimes in Virginia according to the latest FBI statistics. 71 were assaults. The most common victim, according to the statistics? African American men.

“I regret that in 2017 measures like this are necessary. I firmly believe that you can't legislate morality and it takes good people standing together to oppose evil and block it's advancement,” said David Chapman with the Baptist General  Convention of Virginia.
   
The attorney general also announced the creation of a website—nohateva.com The site will feature information on hate crimes and illegal discrimination-- how to report it-- and resources available to victims.

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