Iowa City expands hate crime ordinance
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa City leaders have expanded the city’s hate crime law to include harassment and trespassing.
The Iowa City Council passed the expanded ordinance earlier this month. A news release from the city says state law covering hate crimes names only assault, arson and criminal mischief. The new city ordinance adds both harassment and trespassing when committed because of a person’s race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or marital status.
City officials say the expansion is in response to an increase in hate crimes in recent years, which jumped from six reports in 2017 to 14 in 2018.
Under the new Iowa City ordinance, a first offense for a hate crime carries a fine of between $300 and $625 and up to seven days in jail. A second offense is a $625 fine and 30 days in jail.