Arkansas Governor calls for enhanced hate crime penalty

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ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday August 6, he wants to pass legislation condemning hate crimes. 

“If you’re going to target an individual because of their religion, or because of their race or ethnicity, then you’re going to have an enhanced penalty,” Hutchinson said.

Most states have this type of legislation already, but Arkansas is one of four that does not. 

“Arkansas needs to pass this legislation to send the strongest signal possible that we’re not going to tolerate that type of hate,” Hutchinson said. 

Hutchinson also said one out of three mass shooters has some sort of mental health issues, emphasizing the importance of crisis stabilization centers.

There are three operational crisis stabilization centers in the state: Fort Smith, Northwest Arkansas and Pulaski County. 

The fourth will be open in September in the Jonesboro area. 

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