TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The city of Tucson is in the process of creating a hate crime ordinance, which would support the police department's General Orders.
The proposed ordinance would, according to a Mayor and Council Memorandum, amend Tucson Code 11-30 (which prohibits institutional vandalism and intimidation) to "define and prohibit misdemeanor hate crimes." The ordinance would also establish certain minimum penalties.
City Manager Michael Ortega said in the memo that the proposed ordinance will be discussed at a study session on Feb. 22.
The memo explains that hate crime laws "impose heightened penalties on criminals who target their victims based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability."
Arizona has a hate crimes statute that applies only to felonies and does not apply to violations of local ordinances.