Changes suggested for hate crime reporting in Greenville

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville City Council is taking on the issue of hate crimes at its meeting Thursday night.

Mayor Pro Tem Kandie Smith is introducing a resolution about hate crime reporting. It recommends developing guidelines for documenting, analyzing and reporting hate crimes. It also suggests special training for police officers.

Smith says it’s not an issue in Greenville yet and she doesn’t want it to become one.

“Incidents drive responses, like ordinances and things of that nature. Sometimes we don’t want to wait till those types of things happen. I feel that way like when we’re looking at the body cameras for the police officers. We don’t want to have a Ferguson before we get our body cameras. Incidents don’t have to happen in our particular area in order for us to be effective,” Smith said.

A GPD spokesperson says they follow state policy on this which doesn’t specify hate crimes but rather includes them under ethnic intimidation, which is a misdemeanor.  They report all such cases to the SBI and FBI every year.

City Council meets at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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