February 22, 2017

Subject: Discussion of Hate Crime Ordinance (City Wide) Page: 1 of 2

Issue – At the request of the Mayor, this item is scheduled on today's Study Session to allow for
discussion of a proposed hate crime ordinance, attached hereto.

City Manager's Office Recommendation – The City Manager’s Office asks that Mayor and
Council provide direction with respected to the proposed ordinance.

Background – 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 one such “hate crime” statute, A.R.S. § 13-701(D)(15). It provides
that if a criminal defendant was motivated to commit a felony by bias or prejudice, it is an
aggravating factor to be considered for sentencing purposes. This means that a judge may
consider evidence that the defendant was motivated by bias or prejudice against the victim to
impose a greater sentence.

Present Considerations – The Arizona hate crimes statute applies only to felonies committed
under state law. It does not apply to misdemeanors nor does it apply to violations of local
ordinances. Moreover, the Tucson Code does not currently include a provision for enhanced
penalties for bias-motivated crimes. Tucson Code § 11-30 prohibits “institutional vandalism”
(damaging a place of worship, cemetery, or religious school) and intimidation (causing physical
injury or property damage to another for a biased or prejudiced motive) but it does not apply to
the broad scope of crimes that could be committed as a “hate crime.”

The attached proposed ordinance would amend T.C. § 11-30 to define and prohibit misdemeanor
hate crimes. The amendments would define a hate crime as the commission of any misdemeanor
offense relating to assault, criminal damage, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct,
endangerment, harassment, threats and intimidation, unlawful imprisonment, or graffiti that is
motivated by malice toward a victim based on the victim’s actual or perceived race, color,
religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity,
familiar status and/or marital status. The ordinance would establish certain minimum penalties,
to include mandatory jail of at least ten (10) days for a first offense.

Financial Considerations – It is not anticipated that the adoption of the proposed ordinance, or its
enforcement, would add further burden to the Tucson Police Department or City Prosecutor’s

Plan Tucson Considerations – This item relates to Goal 3 of Plan Tucson’s Social Environment
element, which is to provide for a safe community and secure neighborhoods.

Discussion of Hate Crime Ordinance
(City Wide)

Legal Considerations – The City Attorney’s Office has provided the attached proposed ordinance
and the City Attorney will be present at today’s Study Session to address questions relating to
this matter.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael J. Ortega
City Manager

City Attorney’s Offc.

Attachment: Proposed Ordinance


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