Online Originals: LGBTQ+ bring awareness to hate crimes in ENC

Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — With hate crime violence rising across the country, a new report details the opportunities and limitations of laws addressing hate crimes at the state level. 

Members of Onslow County’s LGBTQ+ community have seen a spike in hate violence, but, the state currently has no hate crime laws, making it difficult to prosecute these types of incidents. 

(LGBTmap.org photo)

A recent report by Movement Advancement Project details LGBTQ+ policies. It is to bring awareness to the recent spike in acts of hate violence. 

Members of Onslow LGBTQ+ Community Center say they have had people in their community deal with that increase — from the recent vandalization of a food truck that participated in a pride event to the murder of transgender woman Jenna Franks. The FBI is investigating the murder case as a potential hate crime. 

Members of the Onslow LGBTQ+ Community Center say having hate crime laws would show support from leaders at the state level, but also say laws alone won’t fix the problem of hate violence. 

Education is extremely important. Improving law enforcement accountability and training. Improving data collection. Shifting focuses towards support and healing communities.

Dennis Biancuzzo, Director Onslow LGBTQ+ Community Center

Anyone that may have information in Franks’ death that would assist in the investigation may contact Det. Kymberly Schott at (910) 938-6414, kschott@jacksonvillenc.gov or Crime Stoppers at (910) 938-3273.   

Hear more from the leaders of the center below

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